It’s all about neighborhood safety
Oct 2nd will be the 5th consecutive year that the safety organizations in Paso will stage the city-wide safety-awareness event in City Park. It’ll be roughly where the BBQs are located. You’ll easily see the police and fire vehicles on the street. Paso Night Out only lasts a couple hours and begins at 6 PM. It’s after the Farmers’ Market closes so it is an easy time to go since you might be there anyway. Also, PNO is free and there are perks for attending!
So, what is PNO? It is an awareness program stemming from National Night Out which is held all across the USA in 16,000 communities. Until this year, Paso was part of NNO but decided to go it alone and make it more relevant to our town. This is a superb chance to come out with the whole family (please bring your children!) and meet new officers and managers of the Police and Fire Departments. They’ll have some of their equipment there to look at and you can ask all the questions you’d like answers to. A San Luis Ambulance will be there too along with members of Citizens’ Volunteer Program.
Here in our pueblo, Mary Sponhaltz, the right-hand to newly sworn-in Chief Ty Lewis, has once again orchestrated the early evening event. Last year, almost 300 people attended. The program is heavily geared to neighborhoods and the issues they face in keeping them safe. The likelihood of crimes being committed in any given city are much higher in neighborhoods. It has been statistically proven that when people in a neighborhood are bonded by safety measures with concern and awareness for one another, those neighborhoods are safer. Word does get around to “stay away from such and such an area because they’re always on watch!” Knowledge is power and when a neighborhood knows what’s going on, it’s a really good thing! So, what kinds of questions might you like to ask? Here are a couple thoughts. A) How safe is Paso compared to other cities our size? B) Do we have a high, medium or low crime rate? C) What kinds of things should I report? D) How do I use 9-1-1 to report something?—and, is that the best # to use? E) Will a police person come to our home for a neighborhood meet ‘n’ greet? F) How long does it take for the Fire Department to respond? G) Does Paso have a lot of fires? H) Talk about gangs and drugs. How bad is it in Paso? I) How do I become a police or fire person or apply to any position in one of the agencies? You probably have a long list yourself. Come, ask and discuss with the men and women who have sworn to protect us. Our safety team is made up of solid men and women. They live in the community and are neighbors in neighborhoods like most of us. When we have to make that 9-1-1 call, it is comforting to know the responders are truly here for us!
As in the past years, there are free burgers and dogs with all the fixins including sodas and water. Pastor Tim Mensing from The Bridge Church and some of the congregation will be doin’ the grillin’. Paso has 1 K-9 dog. Unless he is working on patrol, he might be doing demonstrations; those were really popular last year. There’ll also be Fire Department demos, as well as fingerprinting for the children and DUI goggles to try out. These are really neat; when you put them on they mess up your vision a bit but if you are sober, you’ll still be able to walk a pattern or ride a bike. But, if you’re messed up, guess what!
Bring your questions and come by to meet the safety teams in Paso. They are really open, friendly and fiercely dedicated to Paso’s citizens – just as you’d hope for! Learn how to make your neighborhood more safe and have a great burger or dog while you’re doing it! Meet, greet, ask! You’ll be glad you did.