National Night Out 2021: Garfield Park event builds relationship between DPC and community

CHICAGO (WLS) – For a little while, at least, the summer evening at Garfield Park was about as perfect as it gets.

A little dancing music, food and community mixed freely in the warm air for a National Night Out event. And there was security; no barrier between the police and the people they protect.

“We want to be able to reach them and touch them,” said Sgt. Allen. “I want a kid to come up to me and say ‘Hey.’ They are human beings like us. That is why I am here in civilian clothes. Because I want them to see that it is us and us.

This is how trust is formed.

“They come to the city streets with us and drive us from places,” said Ortensia Hudson, of the We Care 2 agency. “They go out and they serve. They give to the community. They are active. “

“What we do is always twofold,” 11th District captain Andrew Parham said. “Number one, reduce violent crime. Number two, build relationships with the community.”

Both are difficult, especially on the West Side of town, around Garfield Park. According to Chicago police data, the area known as District 11 has suffered 322 shootings so far this year, the most of any district in the city. This is almost 3% more than at the same time last year.

“The police department cannot do it alone,” said Superintendent CPD. David Brown. “We need each of you to work with us.”

“We need you to help us build better and safer communities,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was also in attendance. “We cannot stop our exit from this problem. We cannot continue our exit from this problem.”

It was one of the many national night celebrations in the city and in the suburbs.

In the Near West Side, officers joined the children on a picnic to paint with watercolors, and the Mounted Police unit traveled to Albany Park to reach the Northwest Side neighborhood, a another nod to the partnerships between the police and the people of Chicago.

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