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Since 1984, the first Tuesday in August of each year has been designated as National Night Out. Last night, Hollywood residents came out to join Crime Watch Members, Hollywood Police Officers & Command Staff, City Officials, and Crime Prevention Specialists in an effort to bring local communities and law enforcement together.
Due to heavy rain, many events moved indoors; but that didn’t stop those that came from having a good time.
“We wanted to bring the community and families together to get to know and care about each other,” said Cathy Gonzalez, secretary and treasurer of the Boulevard Heights Neighborhood Association.
Scrubby’s BBQ provided dinner and a complimentary ice cream truck was hired by mayoral candidate Patricia Asseff. Also included was a martial arts presentation and some other fun activities. “This is a great night for Hollywood,” said Asseff.
Judy Bates, president of the Boulevard Heights Neighborhood Association said she was glad to see people getting to know each other and having a good time.
Nadine McCrea, a Washington Park community leader, spent much of the night serving meals to the families who came. “It’s good to see people in the community spending time together,” she said. Also in attendance at the Washington Park event was Commissioner Linda Sherwood, who said she was glad people came together for a nice community event.
For the officers, it was a chance to have some fun with the kids. Some of the officers got to play the role of a favorite aunt or uncle with the kids. At Washington Park, one of Hollywood’s finest found himself the center of attention with a group of children.
Officers who came to the events wanted young people to know that police are a positive force in Hollywood. “We want to establish good relationships with kids. I love children,”said Major Nikki Coffin.
Lieutenant Selina Hightower sought to foster coalition between law enforcement and young people. “We brought people together to have fun, but we want children and teenagers to know we care about them,” she said.
Anthony Gomez, a Hollywood Police officer, calls for neighbors to stick together and get to know eachother. “We want people to look out for each other and to contact us if they see something suspicious happening in their neighborhood,” he said.