Record numbers participate in National Night Out
Friday, 19 October 2012 by Matthew Girard
A record number of citizens and neighborhoods came in support of a safer Belton Tuesday night during the Belton Police Department sponsored National Night Out across the city.
Along with Belton, numerous cities across the nation participated in the event which is designed to show criminals that communities and police departments are united against illegal activity.
"It's important for the police department and the community to partner together and to show that we are a united front, and that we aren't going to tolerate illegal activity," BPD Sgt. Larry Berg said.
This year's National Night Out event featured 15 "block parties," and included several businesses hosting parties for the first time.
One of the new sights for the event was the Belton Whataburger.
General Manager Jaime Zamarripa said the restaurant wanted to get involved in the event to help get others around the community involved in crime prevention.
"It's really important for Whataburger to support the community, especially with the local police department," Zamarripa said. "It lets the neighborhood know where they can go and what to do."
Most of the night's activities included drawings for door prizes, games for kids and a chance for citizens to meet the police officers that are serving them.
"It's a great chance for police officers to meet to the citizens and for the citizens to meet the officers," Berg said. "It's also a good chance for kids to get to know the officers."
Along with police officers attending each party, city council members and members of the BPD C.H.I.P.S. program were also on hand to greet residents.
"It's like one big happy family," Zamarripa said. "Everybody comes together and gets to know each other and they know who they can go to wherever they are at."
Berg said he hopes to see the number of block parties increase to 20 or 25 next year.
"Every year, we are trying to get out into the community more and every year it keeps getting a little bit bigger," Berg said. "This year is the first year we've had businesses that hosted parties and that's just phenomenal."
For more information about Belton's National Night Out event, call the Belton Police Department at (254) 933-5840.