MASON CITY, IOWA – It’s the 16th year Mason City is hosting National Night Out.
And for parents, like Sara Poppy, it’s a fun-filled evening with her kids.
“Just to support the community activities. We come every year, my kids really like it, they see a lot of friends here,” said Poppy.
“Jut to get the kids out in the community and enjoy the fun activities that they have and the different booths they have,” said Twyla Steenblock of Mason City.
But while many are enjoying the fun and games, this event is also meant to make those who protect the area more familiar to neighbors.
“It is, to get them out in the community and show that they are just people just like the rest of us,” said Steenblock.
And that’s exactly what Chief Mike Lashbrook with the Mason City Police Department wants to hear.
“It’s about people coming together, taking a stand against crime and drugs in their community. It’s getting to know your neighbors because that is where the strength in the community is, is getting to know each other and standing up for yourself,” said Lashbrook.
But Chief Lashbrook wants people to recognize that, the theme of “throwing a going away party for crime and drugs”, doesn’t need to be just a one time event.
“I mean it’s not necessarily one night where we try to focus on this type of activity or getting involved. We try to promote it through out the year, but I guess this is something that is considered across the county that brings it to the forefront,” said Lashbrook.
And for those like Poppy, she knows the fight against crime and drugs can only be done with the help of her neighbors.
“Just how good a community this is and what the police do for us and everybody in the community. If we watch out for one another we’ll make it a safe community for our kids,” said Poppy.
But National Night Out wasn’t meant to just be at the park.
People were encouraged to turn their porch lights on at 5, to show how they’re all united in keeping the community safe.
Chief Lashbrook says every year the event continues to grow.
He says thanks to the Community Policing Advisory Board, more people seem to be attending and understanding how important these type of events are.