BLAINE, Minn. – (Aug. 3, 2017) – On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Night to Unite gathered neighborhoods together. The goal of the evening is to improve neighborhood relationships, while also giving law enforcement a chance to interact with these neighborhoods at a time when no one is in crisis.
“The Blaine Police Department truly is committed to being a part of the community and we value the community helping us make the community safer and their neighborhoods safer so this give us a chance to get out there,” said Lt. Dan Pelkey from the Blaine Police Department.
Getting people from the city to all these parties to interact and communicate is no small task.
“We have great planners, our crime prevention specialist Kim Kiley along officer Michelle Moore, this is a pretty big effort they put in. They make sure that they get in all the numbers, they set it up strategically so we know every person has to go to a certain amount of parties,” Pelkey said.
The Blaine Police Department was able to share a variety of fun pictures on their social media, highlighting the interactions they were able to have in the community.
“I don’t get to go to birthday parties very often, so I consider this a big party,” Pelkey said. “I think that’s the best part about it is getting out there and actually getting to see people and not feeling rushed that you have to go to another call right away, you can just sit there and talk to them and meet them.”
Some of the parties and some of the pictures showed a lot fun too.
“There were donuts, and they made me eat a donut – which is sort of cliche for police officers eating donuts. But, I took a selfie eating a donut last night,” Pelkey said.
Throughout this fun, the police department sees that they are building healthy relationships in the communities they serve.
“It’s important because we get to get out and see people in a great atmosphere. We’re not responding to a call for service. People aren’t in crisis. We actually get to go out there and meet people, shake their hands talk to them let them know what we’re about, hear what’s going on in their community and making sure we can have those positive connections and interactions so if they do need to call us we sort of have a little bit of framework already built with them,” Pelkey said.
Night to Unite, and the similar National Night Out are held across the country every year on the first Tuesday in August.