Wichita celebrates Neighborhood Night Out tonight

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita is celebrating Neighborhood Night Out tonight.

It’s an annual event that aims to promote public safety and build community. Many neighborhoods will host block parties, ice cream socials, picnics and much more.

The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association plans to host an ice cream social at Grandparents Park.

Organizer Crista Switzer said knowing your neighbors empowers you to build a strong community.

“When people start recognizing people, there is less  of a ‘they’ mentality and more of a ‘we’ mentality,” said explained

During Neighborhood Night Out, elected officials, police officers and firefighters will come out to registered parties.

According to the Wichita Police Department, this is one of many ways it is working toward community policing.

For Officer Charley Davidson, this is an event he looks forward to.

“A lot of times I’ll go to the neighborhood parties that I’ve been to before when I worked a certain beat for quite a while, and I already had partnerships with them,” Davidson said. “But there’s always somebody new that I got to know.”

It’s no secret that the Wichita Police Department is focused on community policing. They department has taken many steps toward the goal, and Neighborhood Night Out is another way to make it a reality.

Tonight’s event is also a great opportunity to connect with local law enforcement. Davidson said building relationships with the community helps in combating crime.

“We can’t be on every street corner of every minute of every day,” he said. “We rely on our community. We rely on those relationships, those partnerships that we have in the community.”

Davidson added that there’s three aspects of crime – the suspect, the victim and the location.

“If you eliminate one of those things, you can eliminate crime,” he said.

Neighborhood Night Out runs from 5:30-9 p.m.

If you’re interested in hosting a party, there’s still time. The city will waive park fees for groups who want to hold their get-together in a neighborhood park. The city will also provide barricades until they run out, at no charge for anyone who wants to block off a portion of the street for their event. More information can be found on the city’s website.

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