Making communities safe: National Night Out joins residents, garrison agencies

| August 19, 2016 | 0 Comments
Spc. Jesse Watters, military policeman with the Directorate of Emergency Services Bike Patrol shows Lukas Villatoro, 5, how to navigate the safety course. Bike Patrol personnel walked through the course with children as well as showed them how to properly wear a bike helmet and follow other traffic laws.

Spc. Jesse Watters, military policeman with the Directorate of Emergency Services Bike Patrol shows Lukas Villatoro, 5, how to navigate the safety course. Bike Patrol personnel walked through the course with children as well as showed them how to properly wear a bike helmet and follow other traffic laws.


Story and photos by

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The laughter of children and warm lingering summer daylight lit up the mood at National Night Out hosted at Kaena Community Center, Aug. 12.

The event is part of a national program encouraging crime reduction in neighborhoods by building community partnerships with law enforcement.
The event was first held nationally in 1984 and has been supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Department of Justice. Island Palm Communities has offered the event at Schofield Barracks for the last nine years to promote community partnerships and more.

Staff Sgt. Hector Chamo, (left) holds out a bite sleeve for military working dog Davy to attack while getting directions from military working dog handler Pfc. Cody Grosinsky, Aug. 12. The two were part of a demonstration for National Night Out at Kaena Community Center.

Staff Sgt. Hector Chamo, (left) holds out a bite sleeve for military working dog Davy to attack while getting directions from military working dog handler Pfc. Cody Grosinsky, Aug. 12. The two were part of a demonstration for National Night Out at Kaena Community Center.

“We wanted to get involved with the residents, so they’re aware of who’s in their community and introduce them to other agencies together under one event,” said Tom Adams, director of property management.

Keiki friendly
Families were encouraged to dress up as their favorite superheroes while meeting everyday heroes of law enforcement. Representatives from the Directorate of Emergency Services, Honolulu Police Department, Federal Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard were at the event.

Several booths were set up so attendees could play games, pounce in the inflatable rides and visit law enforcement.

The family-friendly event also offered children a chance to interact with first-responders and learn what to do in emergencies.

“We’re hosting this event so children are not scared to talk to the police,” Adams said. “If there’s an issue, it’s OK to talk to them. This makes children know police are there to help, getting familiar and comfortable with them.”

Crowds at National Night Out play supersized Connect Four and go through other short obstacle course races.

Crowds at National Night Out play supersized Connect Four and go through other short obstacle course races.

National Night Out also allows law enforcement to inform the public of important safety laws and programs to help curb crime. Children could also be registered in the National Child Identification Program, which helps law enforcement when children are missing.

Demonstrating safety/security
The Bike Patrol section of DES hosted a bike rodeo where they offered tips about proper bike helmet sizing and traffic laws.

Myah Sanchez, 10, prepares to ride through the safety obstacle course set up by the Directorate of Emergency Services Bike Patrol staff. Children learned how to ride their bikes safely in traffic and how to walk their bikes through crosswalks.

Myah Sanchez, 10, prepares to ride through the safety obstacle course set up by the Directorate of Emergency Services Bike Patrol staff. Children learned how to ride their bikes safely in traffic and how to walk their bikes through crosswalks.

“We have an obstacle course set up, trying to help them see how to control a bike,” said Sgt. Abel De La Garza, noncommissioned officer in charge, DES Bike Patrol. “We welcome children to bring their own bike or use the ones here provided by Island Palm Communities. We walk the course with them, telling them to stop and look both ways. We also show them how to ride their bikes safely and to walk their bikes through crosswalks.”

The crowd also saw a demonstration of military working dogs and how their handlers train them for police work. Adults and children watched the military police as the dogs could detain criminals with a bite or stay in place while their handler searched suspicious people.

“It’s great to showcase the dogs’ capabilities, showing that bond between the animal and a trainer,” said Staff Sgt. Hector Chamo, a military working dog handler. “Then we can show how that training can be used.”

Broad community support
Several community groups, including the American Red Cross, were also at National Night Out to talk with attendees about their volunteer efforts.
The Kolekole Girl Scouts were at their booth with cookies and information for families to sign up or help out.

“This gives us the opportunity to coordinate with volunteers for service projects,” said Megan Giampa, a service unit manager for the Kolekole Girl Scouts. “Our military troops can get to know our organization and how the cookie proceeds can help support our community.”

Children could enjoy free face painting and balloon animals crafted during National Night Out. The event also served summertime treats including shave ice and popcorn.

Children could enjoy free face painting and balloon animals crafted during National Night Out. The event also served summertime treats including shave ice and popcorn.

Giampa said National Night Out was a great event to attend where they could talk with the community and begin registering girls for the new scouting year.

Adams said that while National Night Out attendees can learn about safety and emergency resources, he’s also hoping they take home another lesson while having summertime fun – when to recognize suspicious activity. It’s a lesson to relearn every time Soldiers permanently change stations.

“The event is about getting to know who’s in your neighborhood,” Adams said. “We’re at the height of PCS season. So this is a good time to get to know your neighbors. Getting to know them can help reduce crime.”

National Night Out at
Aliamanu Military Reservation
Families are welcome to attend National Night Out at the AMR Community Center at 182 Kauhini Road, Oct. 7. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superheroes.
Games, demonstrations, rides and more are scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Law enforcement and community volunteer groups will be available for the public to meet.
For more information about upcoming Island Palm Communities events, visit www.islandpalm communities.com.

Families gather to enjoy the inflatable rides, treats and displays during National Night Out at Kaena Community Center. National Night Out is a nationwide event to promote crime prevention through community support.

Families gather to enjoy the inflatable rides, treats and displays during National Night Out at Kaena Community Center. National Night Out is a nationwide event to promote crime prevention through community support.

 

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Category: Community

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