The City of Creve Coeur held its 22nd annual Night Out event June 21, attracting the participation of 19 area subdivisions.
From 6-8:30 p.m., caravans of vehicles and officials from the Creve Coeur Police Department, Creve Coeur Fire Protection District, Neighborhood Watch Association, Joint Crime Prevention and other City representatives traveled to participating neighborhoods throughout the City. These subdivisions organized block parties and outdoor gatherings to draw families to the safety vehicles and officials.
“It gives us a chance to meet the people in the neighborhoods,” said Crime Prevention Officer Jonathan McIntosh of the Creve Coeur Police Department. “It shows them we’re here for them in a non-emergency situation and gives us a chance to promote our crime prevention programs.”
At each stop, an officer addressed the neighbors gathered and shared a summary of activity in that subdivision for the last year. False alarms and calls for suspicious behavior are the main culprits.
“It’s good for people to notify the Police Department with suspicions immediately, not wait,” McIntosh said. He encouraged homeowners to take preventive action and call about any strange occurrences.
“We want people to work together, get to know their neighbors,” said Mayor Harold Dielmann. Dielmann says he’s been part of the caravan since the beginning. “It’s good to know someone on a first-hand basis.”
Resident Stephanie Tyler says she’s taken advantage of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program the City offers in addition to participating in events like Night Out.
“I love my neighbors,” Tyler said. “We can have each other’s back.” Tyler’s neighborhood, Country Fair, brought the largest turnout in 2010.
The national Night Out event is held each August. In 2010, Creve Coeur moved its date to June to avoid higher temperatures. McIntosh said last year had the most neighborhood participation, and decided to maintain the June date.
Cathy Keeler, a director of the Creve Coeur Fire District, said this was her first time being a part of the event. “It’s so good to have the kids come out and enjoy the trucks and the equipment,” Keeler said.
The Windrush Creek subdivision also took part for the first time. Lisa Litvag and her family celebrated the occasion with their neighbors, cooking up food and making use of an inflatable bounce house for the children. “Having [the officers] come out here means they’re engaged in the community,” Litvag said.
“I’m safe – this makes me feel safer,” said Gina Casalone, a resident of the Quailways subdivision.
The Police Department also sponsors a Citizen Police Academy program along with its CERT training and will host a Safety Fair Sept. 25.