It was a record-breaking year for Naperville’s National Night Out, as 50 neighborhoods took part in the event to connect communities and encourage anti-crime efforts.
“It’s an opportunity for the neighbors to get to know each other, so if they feel unsafe in their neighborhood, if they see something suspicious they know their neighbors and they can rely on their neighbors to help them, and also notify the police,” said Bob Marshall, Chief of Police for the City of Naperville.
It all began with the kick-off event at Centennial Beach, where kids and adults could hop from the water to the land to learn more about their local police department and the needs in the community. A donated item to Loaves and Fishes’ food pantry allowed free access to the event.
“Anytime that we have an opportunity to connect with the community and say ‘thank you,’ and to just promote the mission of Loaves and Fishes, it’s a wonderful thing,” said Michelle Iskowitz, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications with Loaves and Fishes Community Services.
Neighborhoods from north to south then jumped in on the fun, coordinating activities with the city to strengthen neighborhood spirit and safety partnerships.
“Naperville is such a safe community and a big part of that is because of our residents and they are involved, they’re the ears and the eyes of our police and fire department, so with their help we’re able to maintain a safe environment,” said Steve Chirico, Mayor of the City of Naperville.
And newcomers are quick to join in on those efforts.
“We moved here last summer and it’s been wonderful, the community’s welcomed us with open arms, and ever since we’ve been here we’ve been thrilled to be a part of everything that’s gone on in the town,” said Jason Yellin, a Timber Creek Resident.
The National Night Out events will conclude with an emergency vehicle show and kids cycle mania on Sunday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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