By Amanda Rogers
Once a year, Mansfield residents step out of their homes and focus on how to keep their houses, cars and kids safer.
The city will celebrate the 37th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, but the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wet blanket on a lot of the parties.
“The number is down due to COVID, and some neighborhoods have canceled,” said Trey Kerr, a community resource officer with the Mansfield Police Department. “Normally, it’s huge. This year is just a little bit different.”
Some neighborhoods are planning to continue the tradition, and The LOT Downtown is planning a community celebration at 110 S. Main St. The Mansfield police and fire departments are planning to have booths there, Kerr said.
“National Night Out gives a chance for kiddos to get to know the officers,” said Zhivonni Cook, public information officer for the Mansfield police. “If you’re not having a party, The LOT is a good alternative to get to know your officers.”
The whole idea behind the national event is to get people to know their neighbors.
“Once you get to know people, you get that ownership and want to make sure it’s safe for everyone,” Cook said.
“’The best way to build safer communities is to know your neighbors and your surroundings,’ that’s how Kay Bailey Hutchison put it,” Kerr said. “You learn little things like turning on the lights and locking your doors.
“It’s grown to millions of neighborhoods across the country and military bases around the world,” Kerr said. “Most places have it the first Tuesday in August, but it’s too hot here. We’re one of the ones that have it in October.”
Neighborhoods can register their parties with the Mansfield police by calling 817-276-4758.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.