Sealy Police Department K9 Officer Eric Bryant is once again heading up the effort to bring families together and unite the community at National Night Out.
This year’s event is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Abe & Irene Levine Park. It features a free movie in the park – this year “Coco” will be played on the big screen at dusk – and live music, food, drinks, popcorn, a bounce house, rock wall, train rides and face painting. And oh yeah, it’s free.
“We do this every year as a service to our community,” Bryant said. “The goal of this event is to promote a casual evening for our neighbors to get to know each other and have easy access to their city officials. We encourage our citizens to meet with our elected and appointed officials to explain any concerns they have. This is also our opportunity to explain the current status of city projects and crime trends we are seeing.”
A variation of National Night Out is held in thousands of communities in all 50 states. While originally billed as a series of neighborhood block parties on a Tuesday night in August, cities in Texas and Florida have opted to hold the event in October when the weather is a little cooler.
Bryant said after last year’s event that Sealy PD found that a community gathering spot like Levine Park worked better than individual neighborhoods getting together and waiting for an officer or elected official to arrive.
“You could end up having three people standing in a driveway,” Bryant said. “If people want to do that, we’ll go do that, but this was so much easier.”
Sealy Fire Department, local church groups and volunteer students with Sealy ISD’s Interact Club also participate.
Residents are more likely to approach a council member or police officer about suspected drug activity in their neighborhood or ask a question about when a new business is going to open in this laid-back environment, Bryant has said.
The police department also uses the opportunity to provide fingerprint kits and DNA swabs in order to get children’s information in a database.
“We just want to get everybody together and be accessible,” Bryant said.