National Night Out provides safety, says police
In the wake of nationwide violence against police officers and growing distrust of law enforcement, Pasadena Police Lt. Vasdek Gourdikian says that National Night Out is more important than ever.
“It’s only through continuous dialog that we can get through times like this,” Gourdikian said.
For 20 years, Pasadena has celebrated its police officers and first responders with block parties and barbecues on National Night Out. But recent events have given the celebration new meaning. Recent anti-police shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and San Diego have prompted some departments to heighten security and limit community engagement.
But that’s not an option for Pasadena police officers, according to Gourdikian.
“These types of isolated incidents do not dissuade us from engaging with the community,” Gourdikian said. “It’s even more important for us to be out there tomorrow.”
Local violence has also raised tensions. On Saturday night, two men were wounded at Robinson Park by a drive-by shooter. Across the street is Kings Villages, an apartment complex that hosting a barbecue for police officers on Tuesday.
General Properties Manager Betsy Gonzalez said that although tragedies like this happen, Pasadena is adept when it comes to healing itself.
“We are trying to bridge that gap between local government agencies and our residents,” Gonzalez said. “Ultimately, our goal is to be one as a community.
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