Prosper hosted its 15th annual National Night Out — an event that aims to improve drug and crime-fighting successes — on Oct. 4. The event had 30 block parties that spanned more than 15 neighborhoods.
Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone estimated that more than 1,500 residents attended the event in total, a 42 percent increase from last year’s event.
“This is the highest number of block parties that we have had and this speaks to the growth,” McHone said. “It speaks to the growth but it also speaks to the continued support for our community as we grow.”
Block party organizers registered their neighborhood with the police department preceding the event. Some neighborhoods hosted cookouts, bounce houses and DJs. The police department had nine officers driving to the block parties and the fire department had several firefighters attend the event. Police officer Erin Hubbard attended six block parties throughout the evening.
“We’re always promoting police-community partnerships, crime prevention and neighborhood camaraderie, and the National Night Out events help us do that very effectively,” Hubbard said in a press release. “These events create the kind of spirit, energy and determination that are helping make our neighborhoods even safer.”
Prosper resident Alicia Fletcher and her family helped organize the event for Village at Prosper Trail. This was the first year she and her family attended a National Night Out.
“We conversated with neighbors about things we needed to do to get better in the community to include events, crime safety and communication,” Fletcher said. “We chose to do National Night Out because it had never been coordinated in the neighborhood.”
The goal of the police department is to have even more participation next year, Hubbard said. The event, co-sponsored by the Prosper Police Department and the National Association of Town Watch, promotes neighborly connections in an effort to decrease crime.
“National Night Out is national event that was designed to get neighbors to come out and get to know each other, and for the police to interact with the community,” Hubbard said. “Nowadays people don’t know their neighbors. They don’t talk to their neighbors like they did 50 years ago, so it’s about making a safer community.”