On August 6, neighborhoods all over Milpitas and across the United States took part in National Night Out (NNO). A community-building event in which police awareness and relationships are promoted, NNO is a way for neighbors to connect and get to know one another, while keeping their neighborhoods safe in the process. 

NNO is typically celebrated on the first Tuesday in August. However, in the past, Milpitas has always celebrated it on the first Thursday in August, due to the conflict with the standing City Council meeting on the first Tuesday of the month. 

But this year, the Milpitas City Council adopted a resolution to move the NNO to the first Tuesday in August (and postpone the meeting to the following week), so that the city could celebrate NNO on its intended date. 

This made a huge difference, according to Sergeant Bryan Hinkley, in terms of the number of people who participated…

This year’s Milpitas NNO had 49 registered parties, a new record. Approximately 1,700 people attended those parties — also a new record in the history of National Night Out in Milpitas. 

NNO in Milpitas is organized by the Milpitas Police Department; the Milpitas Community Advisory Commission also collaborated with them. 

Thirteen sworn employees from the Milpitas Police Department made it a priority to attend various parties, including the Police Chief, captains, and also some officers. Sergeant Hinkley made it out to some parties as well. Each officer was assigned 5 parties. And elected officials, City Staff, and representatives from the Milpitas Fire Department all made stops at parties throughout the city. 

Milpitas resident Ray Maglalang was proud to mention that the National Night Out event he plans in his neighborhood, a cul-de-sac on Acadia Avenue, just hit its 20-year anniversary. This year’s event saw 150 people in attendance and included music, dancing, and visits from individuals representing the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the City of Milpitas. 

“National Night Out is a good way of knowing neighbors,” said Maglalang, who loves hosting the yearly events. “At the end of the road, nobody will sell their house because they all know each other. It’s about harmony. And it’s one way to mitigate parking issues, barking dogs, noise problems, and falling fences. It becomes a friendlier discussion if you know each other.” 

For some, National Night Out is an opportunity to give back to the community. Pastor Robert Mize, of Cathedral of Faith, likes to organize a party each year at Selwyn Park, where they distribute backpacks to children who are in need of them. He and other church members have been doing this for the past 8 years.  

“Church members brought the backpacks to church or donated money and one of the leaders bought them. There are school supplies inside that one of our leaders stuffed in the backpacks,”shared Pastor Mize. “Children in the Selwyn Park Neighborhood in Elementary or Middle School are able to get one of the 85 backpacks.”

Sergeant Hinkley, who has been in charge of organizing NNO for the past 4 years, appreciates the strong support from the community, and has been pleased to see attendance go up over the years. 

“The idea of National Night Out is for neighbors to get to know each other so that they can look out for each other,” said Sergeant Hinkley. “And one of the main points I wanted officers to get out there when they stopped at parties is to get to know your neighbors and get their cell numbers.” 

He went on to say that knowing each other’s information is helpful for those times in which, say, there’s a package sitting at your door and you’re not home; that way, you can easily call or text your neighbor to grab it and hold it for you ‘til you return.  

Anyone who’s interested in throwing a National Night Out party next year can reach Sergeant Hinkley at: 408-586-2527.

 

 

 

 

 

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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