By Tiffany Lam
Residents of Atherton and Menlo Park attended "National Night Out" events on Tuesday, Aug. 5, to meet their neighbors and get involved in crime prevention and building police-community partnerships.
Similar gatherings are held each year across the country on the first Tuesday of August.
This is the first year Atherton became involved. At the gathering in Holbrook-Palmer Park, police officers and firefighters, as well as representatives of the California Highway Patrol and the Community Emergency Response Team, met with residents.
There was food, music, and even a bounce house for children.
While Atherton is new to National Night Out, Menlo Park has been involved for awhile. Six gatherings were held Aug. 6, three at private residences and the others at Hamilton Park, Sharon Park, and Cafe Zoe. Menlo Park police visited every location.
About 40 Sharon Heights residents assembled for a potluck dinner at Sharon Park, hosted by Maya Sewald and Angela Lee.
"Usually people get nervous around the police," said Sharon Heights resident Xiaoning Lee. "But now it feels easy."
For a lot of residents, the events were a chance to strengthen community bonds. "It's wonderful to see our neighbors," said Atherton resident Dokhi Foster. "I've never even seen the chief of police before."