Community Members come out for 29th National Night Out in Eau Claire

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 8:55 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Communities across the country gathered together for the 40th National Night Out.

It’s an effort for law enforcement to get to know communities they serve. That included Eau Claire, with the annual event being held for a 29th year Tuesday evening.

“National night out is such a wonderful program. It brings the community together, you know? It is to bring awareness to the problem and concerns we have with our culture,” said Julie Booth, the City of Eau Claire Community Services Recreation Director.

She said the event continued to grow in popularity, having moved from Owen Park to Carson Park back in 2019.

“And it has blossomed this year. We have over 40 vendors alone, and plus added entertainment,” said Booth.

Ben Hundt with the Eau Claire Police Department said interactions at the event are a switch from the usual grind.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet people on happy days with smiling faces. A lot of times when we’re talking to people it’s on a bad day for them,” said Hundt.

That positive energy is something Hundt said should go a long way.

“We work to be a trusted organization and this helps to build that trust, right? We get to meet people and talk to them face to face, have a fun night and that just helps to forge those relationships. It makes Eau Claire a safe place to be. It makes Eau Claire a great place to be,” said Hundt.

Some community members share they are glad to have that face to face with police and each other.

“I just think the community. It’s great to see the community get together, the local police, fire. And just the different raffles you could get and crime stoppers and what to do in an emergency and stuff like that. It’s also good to get the kids involved in that stuff,” said Kasey Midthui.

“We salute all the policemen, or all the law enforcement personnel that’s working for us and helping with our safety,” said Michelle Parcon.

National Night Out was introduced in 1984, involving 38 million neighbors in 17,000 communities since then, including around the Chippewa Valley.