Sudden rain and thunder forced several National Night Out leaders to cancel or scale back their neighborhood parties but many more celebrated under a marbled sky Tuesday evening.
Approximately 40 neighborhoods in Chino and Chino Hills gathered for the annual crime prevention event by hosting barbecues and potlucks in front yards, clubhouses, and parks.
Activities at Danbury Park and Skyview Park in Chino Hills were cancelled after the downpour soaked tables, food, and even band equipment that organizers were setting up.
Neighborhoods were visited by the police departments, firefighters, citizens on patrol, councilmembers, and McGruff The Crime Dog.
There were 25 gatherings in Chino, including a 150-person event at Isaiah’s Rock and at the Artisan neighborhood on Copra Avenue and Roseville Street near Chino and Euclid avenues.
“This gives us the opportunity to visit individual neighborhoods to welcome the police department and have interaction with groups of residents,” said Chino Police Cpl. Jon Monroe, who attended the Artisan gathering.
He added, “We can find out unique needs of each community and each neighborhood and take that back and address it. When something goes on, hopefully we have the trust of the community.”
The more officers get out and meet with residents, the more residents will remember their faces and names, he said.
Neighborhood hosts in Chino Hills had their own special flair including Steve Bowie who held his sixth consecutive event on Fernwood Court that attracted 60 neighbors and friends. Mr. Bowie, a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, displayed his culinary skills by preparing smoked salmon, pulled pork, smoked St. Louis ribs, and barbecued chicken.
He provided a large box filled with supplies for the children including chalk for street art, glow necklaces, and other goodies.
Shelley and Frank Altamirano hosted their third year with a potluck in Via Casitas. Mrs. Altamirano said she loved the rain and would not allow it to deter her. Nor will she allow crime to deter her. The couple’s third-row seat was taken from their Escalade on July 3. Cher Borden, her neighbor, said her car was broken into nine months ago.
Kirsten and J.P. Berube shifted their event to neighbor Kari Harlan’s house next door on Milgrove Way for better use of the garage. Mrs. Harlan switched out her traditional flag to display the “thin blue line” flag used by law enforcement to commemorate fallen officers.
The two families celebrated a children’s-centered event with water balloon and egg toss games, and of course, plenty of food for all.