Suisun City took part in the National Night Out on Tuesday night, an event that the city has been a part of since it began 29 years ago. The community block party sponsored by the highlighted the importance of citizen awareness and participation in preventing criminal activity.
Block parties occurred from 5 to 8 p.m. at Carl E Hall Park at 609 Pintail Drive, hosted by the city, and at 16 block parties hosted by the Neighborhood Watch committees.
The Hall Park event featured free barbecued foods, music and a display by the Solano County Sheriff’s Department, jump houses, informational booths and safety demonstrations.
Suisun City Councilmember Michael Segala, who was in attendance, said at least 1,000 to 1,500 people were expected at the various locations.
This year, the annual event moved from its prior location at Heritage Park to what Segala said is a more central part of the city, near the Salvation Army KROC Center.
Solano County Sheriff’s Deputy Stuart Jacobs has participated in National Night Out events throughout state and worked the Suisun City one this year. He said that the event is a great chance for the community to meet law enforcement.
“If they weren’t so beneficial, they wouldn’t keep happening,” Jacobs said.
Segala said he believes this type of event should occur more often than once a year.
“There are a lot of programs pulled into one location,” Segala said. “It helps people understand how the neighborhood watch groups work.”
Councilmember Sam Derting was also present.
“The event lets people know that the police and citizens can work together to prevent crime through the Neighborhood Watch groups,” Derting said. “The police can’t be everywhere, so the groups act as the eyes and ears of the community.”
The food and entertainment also bring community members out to the block parties.
Suisun City resident Keith Trail said he’s lived in town for about 30 years and he’s been attending the National Night out for years.
“I don’t get out too much and am on a fixed income,” he said, “but I like to come to meet people, eat the food and find out what’s going on in town.”
Betty Fields of Fairfield came to the event with a friend who lives in Suisun.
“I enjoyed the police display, food and music,” Fields said. “I did like it better last year when it was in downtown because there were more tables, benches, trees and places to sit. You have to bring your own chairs here.”
According to the National Night Out website, the 2011 campaign included citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from every state, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. Over 37 million people attended Night Out events last year.