National Night Out bridges a relationship between public and law enforcement.
By Kyle R. Cotton
If viewers turn on the news of late, they’ll see a constant barrage of protests, shootings and negativity surrounding police officers, but events like National Night Out help bridge the divide between police and the community and show they are here for them.
This college and the Alamo Colleges Police Department hosted their second annual National Night Out Oct. 4, with more than 300 people in attendance on East Evergreen Street by Tobin Lofts.
There were over 40 tables along the street with student organizations, Alamo Colleges Police, the fire academy, San Antonio AIDS Foundation, a drunk goggles station, information tables and other participants.
Alamo Colleges Police Cpl. Adrianna De Hoyos — along with patrolman Ismael Alatorre — were the first to pitch the event and get it off the ground as both had previously worked at departments where they had National Night Out. Both work at this college.
“We were new to the Alamo Colleges and were surprised that we didn’t have a National Night Out,” De Hoyos said. “We pitched it to the Chief (Don Adams) and President Robert Vela. They thought it was a great idea and we got it put together.”
“We work all year round for one day to make this event happen,” De Hoyos said.
There were sausage wraps, sodas, burgers and live entertainment including a mariachi band, a disc jockey, a live band and dancers.
“It raises community awareness and lets them see us in a different light; that’s why we are all wearing a more casual uniform to show that we are approachable,” she said, referring to their Alamo Colleges Police polo shirts and khaki pants.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to come out and meet our neighbors,” Carrie Hernandez, student success specialist said. “We weren’t a part of the event last year but I wanted to make sure our clubs came out this year and engage with the community.”
Deputy Chief Joe Pabon said events like this let people know they are here for them.
“This is a golden opportunity for the officers to talk to the residents and the community to let them know, ‘hey we’re here, if you see something happen — no matter how minute it is — let us decide if it’s false or something we should take action on,’” Pabon said.