Greg Palmer believes one of the best aspects of the Burbank Police
Department is its public image.
“They have a reputation of ‘Don’t mess around here,’ ” he said.
“But unlike L.A., there are a lot of police officers who live in the
city and have a vested interest in the quality of life. And that is
what keeps it high.”
The Burbank resident spent Tuesday evening mingling with local
police officers, firefighters, community members and other residents
at Councilwoman Marsha Ramos’ home on the 400 block of North Cordova
Street during the 20th Annual National Night Out Against Crime.
It was the first time the city participated in the
neighborhood-oriented social event, which included barbecues, youth
activities and candlelight vigils throughout the city.
Burbank Police Chief Thomas Hoefel said the purpose was to promote
crime awareness and prevention, neighborhood safety and to let
criminals know citizens are united against crime.
“Events like this are a symbol of the difference in law
enforcement now compared to how it was 20 or 30 years ago,” he said.
“Back then, the police seemed to know everything. Now, it is a team
Ramos, who volunteered to host a barbecue as soon as she heard
about the event, said she believes a safe environment is founded upon
strong neighborly relations.
“My family and I take pride in our neighborhood, and we think that
it is vital to gather together and talk [about crime and safety
issues] in order to build a stable environment,” she said.
Almost 10,000 communities throughout North America, including
Glendale, participated in last year’s National Night Out, and more
are expected this year, according to the event’s Web site. The
National Assn. of Town Watch and the Burbank Police Department are
the local co-sponsors.
Community Resource Officer Vee Jones, who helped coordinate the
event, said the police need residents as much as the residents need
them to effectively stop crime.
“Because the community is the eyes and ears of the police
department, they see and know more [than the police do],” she said.
“That is why we need to foster lines of communication.”
About 12 Burbank firefighters also visited the parties to help put
a friendlier face on public-safety officials.
“We don’t want people to ever shy away from the badge because it
should also represent a shield to them,” Burbank Fire Capt. Rob Bell