National Night Out brings community, law enforcement together

TEEN CERT members and South Lane County Fire & Rescue paramedics at the Creswell National Night Out event. CHRISTOPHER PALANUK/THE CRESWELL CHRONCLE

Creswell held its first National Night Out event on Tuesday, Aug. 7, as a way to strengthen law enforcement and community relationships.
The event, which took place 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Harry Holt Park, is part of national campaign in its 35th year. The mission is to, ”Promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live,” according to the flyer.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) deputies and South Lane County Fire and Rescue responders were at the event to answer questions and meet community members they don’t normally see.
”As law enforcement, we don’t connect with the community on a non-response basis,” LCSO Sergeant Scott Denham said. ”Kids know us through school programs, but regular people don’t see us unless they’re victims.”
Community members had to visit the information booths before receiving tickets for the dunk tanks. Other attractions included: an inflatable obstacle course, games, food provided by the Duck Truck and the Touch-a-Truck program.
For Su Liudhal, director of the Creswell library and one of the organizers, she looked forward to the community coming together to get to know each other and have fun.
”National Night Out is important for our community because it’s important for us to build relationships with our neighbors and our supporting organizations (law enforcement, emergency services, information services),” she said in an email. ”If we know our neighbors, we can keep each other informed and we can look out for each other. If we have relationships with supporting organizations, we know who to reach out to when we need help.”
Denham said that he wants to push more of this community interaction. He wants people to talk to him and other officers about how to make the community a safer place.
”We haven’t taken the step to come together and talk about, and I’m hoping this interaction will make it better,” he said.
He also hoped the event would reach and connect with families who don’t have the best view on law enforcement.
Although Liudahl said that Creswell is a caring community, they still face problems that every city has, such has personal and property crimes or substance abuse.
”We can minimize that by knowing and communicating well with our neighbors,” she said. ”Of course, you can always contact us at the library when you need information. But if it’s an emergency, always dial 911.”



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