When the San Jose police department reached out for support of its annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event, The Harker School gladly accepted.
Held at the Starbird Park in San Jose on Aug. 7, National Night Out was an opportunity to participate with many other neighborhoods across the country in celebration of the nationwide effort sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the police.
This year marked the 29th anniversary of the program, with more than 37 million people across the country participating.
Mike Bassoni, Harker’s facility manager, reported that the school once again provided 500 hot dogs, chips and condiments for the evening event, which began around 6 p.m. Bassoni and other Harker volunteers were on hand helping to distribute food and drinks as well as provide logistical support.
National Night Out is designed to not only heighten crime and drug prevention awareness but to generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts. It also works to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships while sending a message to criminals that cities are united in fighting back.
According to the San Jose police department participating neighborhoods were asked to turn on outside lights, lock their doors and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Moreover, neighborhoods used the event as a launching board to plan further programming such as disaster preparedness, setting neighborhood goals or watches, organizing food or clothing drives and planning to beautify a common area with a cleanup day.
During the National Night Out event itself there were some police officers present, army recruiters, representatives from the San Jose Earthquakes and the Starbird Community Center – and, of course, Bassoni and his Harker crew!