On Tuesday, August 1, Arbuckle will be among 16,000 communities celebrating National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
The goal of the program is to make neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live.
Husband and wife duo Melisa and Kevin Szmurlo are inviting Arbuckle residents – particularly residents of the town’s Honey Grove subdivision – to their house for their third annual potluck and barbecue.
The event started as just a little get together for the Honey Grove neighborhood, where the Szmurlos live. It expanded in its second year to draw Arbuckle residents from outside the subdivision, and they are hoping for an even better turnout this year.
Last year, Colusa County Sheriff’s deputies dropped by the Szmurlo residence to acquaint themselves with community members. Szmurlo, a law enforcement officer in Solano County, reached out to the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and asked them to drop by. This year, the Arbuckle Volunteer Firefighters plan to join in on the fun the local National Night Out, Arbuckle Fire Chief Casey Cox said.
“Mel (Szmurlo) came in last week, and gave us some details and a flier. I think the volunteers will take an engine over. I have some personnel that live in the area,” Cox said. “We perfectly intend to be there. Is it something we have to do? No, but I think it’s something we should do. I think it’s a good deal.”
While National Night Out has only been around in Arbuckle for a few years, the National Night Out campaign began in 1984, and was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch through an already established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation. The first national night out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. It quickly grew, and neighborhoods across the nation began hosting block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts, and other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events visits from emergency personnel, exhibits, and more. This year, it is anticipated that 38 million people across those 16,000 communities will take part in National Night Out.■