National Night Out is an annual event against crime, and for community-police partnership. Founded in 1981 and held on the first Tuesday in August. Hundreds of cities throughout the country held National Night Out events on Tuesday, August 1. In the neighborhood where Adams Blvd. meets Normandie Avenue, local block clubs have joined with the Southwest LAPD Community Police Station for each of the last fifteen years to hold a National Night Out march and potluck.
Sponsored by three local block clubs, the event takes place at the home of Marco Flores, president of the Adams-Normandie Neighborhood Association (ANNA).
This year things began with speeches by State Assembly member Miguel Santiago, District 53, and Los Angeles City Council member for District 8 Marqueece Harris-Dawson. LAPD was represented by Southwest Commanding Officer Captain Leland Sands, Patrol Captain Darnell Davenport, Senior Lead Officers Luis Aceves and Nichol Garner, a sergeant and several patrol officers, and a large turnout by the LAPD Cadets.
Police cruisers led a march through the neighborhood, stopping traffic on Adams Blvd. and Normandie Avenue as the marchers, including many children blowing whistles, called on people watching from their front yards to join them.
Arriving back at Marco Flores’ home on 23rd Street, they were addressed by State Assembly member for District 59, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who had just come from another event.
Captain Sands said he was attending several other National Night Out events the same evening, including one of Marlton Avenue just west of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall.
Participants brought food, but a lot of food was also donated by local restaurants. The most generous was the La Barca Mexican restaurant at 2414 S. Vermont Avenue. Other donations came from Papa Cristos Greek restaurant and deli at Pico and Normandie, and the new Bird’s Next Café at 24th and Vermont.
The event was sponsored by the Adams-Normandie Neighborhood Association, Van Buren Place Community Restoration Association, the Budlong-Juliet-Catalina Neighborhood Association, and the Southwest Community Police Station, LAPD.