Local first responders were celebrated across Arvada on Aug. 2 as part of National Night Out, an annual campaign that seeks to promote neighborhood camaraderie and partnerships between first responders and the community.
2022 marks Arvada’s 16th year hosting National Night Out events, which typically invite first responders, city team members and elected officials to community gatherings.
About 14 gatherings were held in Arvada for National Night Out, including events at the Arvada Historical Society and the Arvada Center.
To the delight of children in attendance, longtime former Arvada Police Officer Ed McCarthy’s painted Volkswagen Beetle — which is still in use as an educational tool — made the rounds.
Arvada Police Department Public Information Officer Dave Snelling said he was thrilled to see people engaging with their neighbors and first responders throughout the night.
“It was wonderful to see community members out speaking with each other and getting to know their neighbors as National Night Out was designed for,” Snelling said. “Coming out and gathering and getting to know each other in the hopes that they can communicate and prevent crime in the future. People know better where they live what’s suspicious and what’s not.”
Snelling added that police officers who live in Arvada but work in other jurisdictions were in attendance as well and praised the occasion as an opportunity to connect with a first responder in a casual setting.
“We’ve had police officers that live in our city that work in others that come out to the event, because it’s the opportunity to speak with a police officer before it’s an emergency or a crisis,” Snelling said.
Since 2014, the Arvada Police Department has practiced what it calls "Community Based Policing," which breaks up Arvada into four sectors, each with its own commander. The goal of Community-Based Policing is to foster relationships between APD and community members, according to the department.