Neighborhood safety night set for Saturday
The Yuma Police Department is inviting the public to Saturday's 10th annual G.A.I.N. Public Safety Night Out.
Part of a statewide initiative called Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods, it is meant to help neighbors get acquainted, which in turn helps to lower the city's crime rates because people are watching out for one another.
The event, held in partnership with local businesses, will be 5 to 8 p.m. at the parking lot in front of Target at the Yuma Palms Regional Center. Last year's drew more than 2,000 people.
“It is going to be a night of fun,” said Officer Cruz Vidal, a YPD spokeswoman. “It is a great opportunity for the public to come out and meet with those of us in public safety.”
Also known as National Night Out, Vidal said, the purpose of the event is to generate participation in anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood support and build community relations.
Not only is it an a great way for people to meet their first responders and get an up-close look at some of the equipment they use on a daily basis, Vidal said, it is a day for those in public safety to show their appreciation to those in the community who support their efforts in the day-to-day fight against crime.
Among the state, federal and local public safety agencies participating will be YPD, the Yuma Fire Department, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the Quechan Police Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Customs and Border Protection, the Yuma Sector Border Patrol, Rural/Metro and the U.S. Marshals Office.
Also participating will be the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the California Highway Patrol, the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, the San Luis and Somerton police departments, Arizona Department of Corrections, the FBI and Yuma Proving Ground.
Vidal said the free event has grown every year and with close to 40 agencies participating this year, it is possibly the largest public safety night event in the state now.
“Each and every year we can say it is the biggest. Not only that, but some of the agencies that have participated in the past are bringing in more equipment to display.”
The agencies will be bringing some of their vehicles and departmental displays to show the public, including fire trucks, helicopters, boats, all-terrain vehicles, sand rails and robots.
Vidal said there will be free hot dogs, sodas, water and chips in limited supply provided by Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pepsi, Khalil Bottling and Bimbo Bread.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.