“So tonight is our 2018 National Night to Unite and in Lino Lakes. We’ve got 47 parties throughout the entire 33 square miles and all of our staff both police and the fire are here to meet everybody from our community,” said Deputy Director of Lino Lake Public Safety, Kyle Leibel.
“It’s great because most people are so busy these days with kids events and their own personal lives that you don’t ever get anybody together in groups anymore to sit and talk and get to know all your neighbors and friends and have a good time,” said Lino Lakes resident, Troy Ryan.
There was everything from getting to meet the K-9 dog, Justice to getting to see inside a real helicopter.
“My role is K-9 handler, I’m working here with Justice to make sure he can get out to visit and kind of get the attention that he wants and the attention they want to see from our K-9 in our department,” said K-9 Officer, Pete Noll.
“Life Link Three, this has been a great two years in a row now that they’ve helped us out and met so many of our residents, kind of demonstrate their abilities and also explain their services and how important they are, especially to us with the number of critical events we have happen on the two interstates that go through our city, they get airlifts on occasion and we want people to understand what that is when they see the real event taking place, so this is great for that,” Leibel said.
For Mandy Granquist and Sarah Spalding, your neighborhood isn’t just for new friends, but sometimes you have your best friend.
“I hope that everyone can have a their neighborhood best friend, obviously no one is going to be lucky enough to have their best friend move in next to them, but neighborhood communities are so important and really great,” Sandquist said.
“I can say that I know everyone around me which is super cools because I know some people don’t, it’s really cool because I grew up babysitting some of these kids and everything else so it’s cool we’ve all grown up together,” Spalding said.
Just as it’s important to meet new friends, Night to Unite is also about keeping the community safe.
“You get to know all your neighbors and your local area that of you see something suspicious, you’re more likely going to contact the police department or at least try to reach out to the people that are neighbors to see if they’ve seen anything,” Ryan said.
“We encourage people to make the calls to us,” Leibel said. “What we’re hearing on regular basis at parties like this is that they’re afraid to call or they saw something but they were afraid to call the police, they didn’t want to bother us, so what we’re trying to do is break that, we want people to call rather than not, so ere on the side of calling rather than being afraid, we’re never too busy, we’re always interested, we want to know and if it’s suspicious or concerning to them, it’s going to be to us too.”
Most importantly it’s about building community.
“I just think it’s really important because it’s the people you’re growing up with, you’re living by them and I’ve grown up with all these people, I can honestly say they’ve impacted my life for the better and I’ll definitely be coming back and seeing them all,” Spalding said.
“There’s something special about just spending every single day with people and growing up throughout the years and you go through it all with everyone but it’s so much fun,” Granquist said.