MONTE VISTA — An estimated 400 people attended the Monte Vista Police Department’s National Night Out event on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Chapman Park.
National Night Out is a national crime and drug prevention event, that takes place annually, in cities across the US in August. It is a collaboration between residents and law enforcement agencies. This event allows the bond between these forces to grow in curbing criminal and drug activity in the community.
This year, the Flight For Life helicopter was at the event surrounded by some of the flight crew members that fly out regularly, when an emergency arises.
Rio Grande County Sherriff Anne Robinson was at the event, all smiles, showing her support and hanging out with some children.
“This is a great event. Everything is going well, and I am happy to be here supporting the event,” Robinson said.
There were many booths at the event along with a bouncy house for the kids.
The Army National Guard had a tent at the event. Monte Vista PD officers, including Police Chief George Dingfelder cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and passed them out to residents at the park’s large pavilion.
EMS crews were at the event with their ambulances.
EMS crewmember Sherry Valdez said, “Everything is going well. This is a good opportunity for the community to come together and see what we can do for them, and to help them.”
The Monte Vista Fire Department was at the event along with a fire truck.
The newest member of Monte Vista, Monte the giant cowboy balloon was set up at the park for the event.
People ate hotdogs and hamburgers and socialized with their friends at the event.
Resident Sonia Manzanares said, “We were just passing by and saw something going on at the park and the big balloon, so we stopped. I never knew that the cops or ambulance or even the firefighters did stuff like this, it’s something for the books for sure. Some of the people here were also saying that they do this everywhere on the same night, that’s comforting. All I can say is it’s nice to know that we have so many people to protect us if we need it. If there is one of these going on next year, we will be here. This is nice.”
The event was scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. but rain and wind rolled in, and it ended around 8 p.m.
Chief Dingfelder, who was enjoying a snow cone after cooking, said with a smile, “We have the best snow cones here and this went really well. I served about 200 to 300 hotdogs and hamburgers. I would guess about 300 to 400 people came. I think we might have had more but the weather just wouldn’t hold out. Great event though, we are very pleased that our community came together and allowed us to show them our support. We support them, and they supported us.”