Neighbors throughout West Valley City gather for National Night Out
Aug 22, 2019 05:53PM
● By Darrell Kirby
A child gets the opportunity to sit on a police motorcycle during a National Night Out neighborhood party in August at Country Meadows Park in West Valley City. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)
By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]
Adults chatted underneath the trees at West Valley City's Country Meadows Park while kids played games, had their faces painted and grabbed sweet treats from a candy toss.
Nearly everyone young and old lined up for free hot dogs, chips and Dutch oven cobbler.
The occasion on a warm August evening was one of the more than 40 block parties and other gatherings around the city for National Night Out.
NNO is an annual event in neighborhoods across America to bring residents, public safety and other municipal officials together to get acquainted and talk about the ways they can make their areas safer from crime and other negative activities.
It was no different for residents of the Solomon Farms Neighborhood centered around 4100 W. 3900 South. Resident and NNO coordinator Winonia Ward surveyed the park crowd as it grew to an estimated 300 people with hopes that socializing and sharing information would form bonds to make people and their properties more secure.
"We have our problems," Ward noted. “Neighbors need to call the city or call us when they see a problem. It’s the only way we’re going to get something done.”
West Valley police officers and firefighters mingled with residents at the park. City Councilman Steve Buehler was also there. A planned police K9 demonstration was canceled just before it started when human and canine officers were dispatched to an emergency at Valley Fair Mall.
Grants funds and donated items from local sponsors made the free food and handouts possible at the Country Meadows Park gathering.
West Valley City NNO sponsors included the police and fire departments, Family Fitness Center, Clean and Beautiful Committee, Neighborhood Watch and the Neighborhood Services Office.
Other sponsors were Smith’s Food and Drug, Sara Lee, Frito-Lay and Salt Lake County Housing and Community Development.
National Night Out was launched in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch as "an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," according to NATW's website.