August 3, 2010

It's all about the neighborhood, and the neighbors, at National Night Out

Block parties all over Racine -- nearly 60 locations -- marked National Night Out Tuesday, as neighbors left their homes to mingle with each other, enjoy music and games and food, and talk about public safety with public officials.

Racine's observance began at Duke Hamilton Park, across from the Wadewitz COP House, and featured all of the above, along with a slew of firefighters and police and politicians -- Mayor John Dickert, State Sen. John Lehman, State Rep. Bob Turner and a number of aldermen. At right, Janai Ferr, 11, meets the mayor.

Speeches were wisely kept to a bare minimum, and most hewed to the sentiment expressed by Lehman: "In some neighborhoods, fences are going up and people aren't talking to each other. This is an alternative."

Police Chief Kurt Wahlen took the opportunity to tout the year's first six month's of crime statistics: "Aggravated assaults are down 25%; violent crime is down 20%; property crime is down 6%; burglaries are down 25%. Everything's going in the right direction."

And then it was time for the kids to play, the grown-ups to mingle and all to join the food line for a hearty meal.

Lt. Brett Haller gives fire safety tips to a group of children

Aarian Gamble, 8, has her face painted

There was plenty of food for everyone

Get more Post! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to advertise? Learn how!