Leader wants to expand Night Out

GLENDALE — A volunteer who is helping coordinate this year’s National Night Out announced Wednesday at a police meeting that he and police are planning to expand the event citywide in the hopes of bringing communities together.

Sparr Heights resident Ron Scott will be working on getting residents in north and south Glendale to host their own National Night Out events in their communities, he said at a Glendale Police Advisory Council and Community-Police Partnership Advisory Committee joint meeting.

“We are really going to ramp this up this year,” Scott said.

National Night Out is an annual event, to be held Aug. 4 this year, that brings residents, business owners and law enforcement officials together in an effort to heighten awareness of crime and drugs in their neighborhoods.

Residents and law enforcement officials joined each other last year for a walk in the Montrose Shopping Park to show their stance against crime. Other cities host block parties, cookouts, contests, parades and youth programs.

“It’s basically communities coming together to fight crime,” Scott said.

Scott told the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Committee last week about his plan that would require them to allow residents to use their neighborhood parks for the event.

“What we are hoping to do is create lots of block parties,” he said.

Scott got involved in organizing this year’s National Night Out event after he, his wife and daughter attended last year’s event in Montrose and he was impressed by the number of people who participated.

At the event, Mayor John Drayman and police officials asked that residents take more ownership of the next event.

Scott was so encouraged by the message that he decided to get involved in organizing the city’s National Night Out event.

He has received help and guidance from Glendale Police Sgt. John Gilkerson and Officer Matt Zakarian, who organized last year’s event in three weeks, Scott said.

“They have been kind of my linchpin in helping me form this,” he said.

National Night Out is intended to be a community-driven event, Zakarian said.

“I want the community to be more involved with the planning this year,” he said.

Planning for the event started early this year because, Zakarian said, he and Scott wanted to make sure that they could accomplish some of their plans and wanted to ensure they would get support.

The event allows residents to be proactive in keeping their city safe, Capt. Lief Nicolaisen said.

With this year’s event, Scott said he wants to better improve relationships among communities and help create more neighborhood watch groups.

Residents who participate in this year’s event will have the opportunity to demonstrate to others that they support an end to corruption, drugs and crime in their communities, Scott said.

But only five people have volunteered to help organize this year’s event, and Scott is looking for more volunteers.

“The potential is huge,” he said.

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