National Night Out (NNO) is coming Tuesday, Aug. 6, and East County communities are getting ready to observe the holiday with their neighbors and local police officers.
Begun in 1984, the event is a national community building campaign promoting partnerships between police and their communities. The goal is to bring neighbors and their local law enforcement officers closer together in a fun environment. The original event involved 2.5 million people across the country turning on porch lights and sitting in front of their homes. Over 30 years later, more than 38 million people are assembling outside, meeting visiting law enforcement and hosting all kinds of gatherings.
In Discovery Bay, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office will be making the rounds of gatherings and block parties, beginning at 5:30 in the evening.
“We will get our officers out, as many as we can, and go through as many streets as we can,” said crime prevention specialist for the sheriff’s office, Tony Fontenot.
Each year, Fontenot leads his fellow deputies through the neighborhoods of Discovery Bay, meeting people, handing out sheriff’s badge stickers and sharing food. Many of the residents come together — despite the mid-week date — and plan block parties, hire bounce houses and drag out the grills.
In nearby Brentwood, residents are no less enthusiastic about neighborhood spirit. Lt. Walter O’Grodnick of the Brentwood Police Department said his officers will be out to meet the people they are sworn to protect and serve.
“Our agency looks forward to participating and promoting National Night Out every year,” O’Grodnick said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for our staff to raise awareness about crime prevention, listen to concerns impacting neighborhoods and strengthen community partnerships.”
He added that officers look forward to visiting neighborhood block parties, barbecues and other social events, and seeing the positive neighborhood spirit throughout the community.
To sign up for the sheriff’s deputies to spend a few minutes on your street in Discovery Bay, email Fontenot at email@example.com with an address and brief description of the event.
Brentwood residents can request their officers to visit by emailing Community Service Officer Michele Keady at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a name, contact phone number and the location of your gathering.
Oakley residents can request a city council member or Oakley police officer stop by their gatherings as well. To do so, email officer Marissa Aguilar at email@example.com. Please include a contact number and location.