Staff and residents of the Terrace Apartments in Tukwila have been participating in the city’s events for National Night Out Against Crime for 15 years.
This year, communities around the country will participate in neighborhood events on Aug. 7.
The night is designated as a time to bring the community together with city and emergency-services officials in an effort to reduce neighborhood crime.
And, apparently, it works.
A few years ago residents in the Tukwila neighborhood near the Terrace Apartments were concerned about the amount of traffic going in and out of the community at different properties, according to Mackenzie Weitzeil, a manager of the Terrace Apartments.
From feedback on this issue, a traffic log was developed for residents by police to help residents keep track of which properties had heavy traffic and report back to police.
“Currently, my biggest concern is the lighting in the park area because it’s pitch black over there,” said Weitzeil.
Lee Phillips Field and Foster Memorial Park are fine in the summer time but very dark in the winter, she said.
Weitzeil hopes to address this concern to city officials and police while dishing up ice cream to residents and others at their Night Out event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the apartment complex.
“Really what it is, is gathering our community together and getting them more acclimated to police, neighbors and the fire department,” she said.
It’s an opportunity for her residents to meet, greet and get important numbers for emergency-services contacts.
“We’re a very diverse community, so it’s very important that our community feel more comfortable with the civil services and know where to go and who to talk to,” Weitzeil said.
That, along with showing any criminal element that the neighbors stand together against crime, is the point of National Night Out events, according to Chris Partman, the city’s community policing coordinator.
In the past “in many neighborhoods the residents were able to talk directly to police and other city of Tukwila staff and in some cases get tools to resolve neighborhood issues,” said Partman via email.
As of mid-July eight neighborhood events were registered for Tukwila’s National Night Out.
The city has been participating for as long as Partman can remember, since about the late 1990s.
It was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, wrote Partman.
Those that want to participate must register their neighborhood event by Aug. 1, by contacting Partman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-431-2197.