Bronx citizens and NYPD officers alike united in celebrating the annual National Night Out throughout the borough on Tuesday, August 6.
The events, which serve as an opportunity for the community and police to come together and build bonds that can lead to better relations, witnessed a sizeable turnout over last year and went off without a hitch, according to Joe Thompson, 49th Precinct Community Council president.
“The turnout we had was phenomenal,” he said while mentioning that the year prior was “lightning-ed out.”
“After that, having such a good year was very important,” he continued.
The big hit of of the evening occurred when Councilman Mark Gjonaj sponsored a hot dog cart to feed the hungry crowd at Comras Park off Lydig Avenue.
Thompson continued to explain that the 4-9 moved their venue from Pelham Parkway to Comras at the request of the NYC Parks Department some years ago. The community is finally adjusting to the new location.
“More people are finding out where we are now which is very important,” he said.
Other precincts around the borough saw similar success as the 49th did, with their own celebrations.
The 46th Precinct took over Roberto Clemente State Park where their Jungle Adventure shuffleboard game was quite popular with kids and adults alike. Meanwhile the 48th Precinct was grilling up some of the best barbeque in the Bronx on Bathgate Avenue between East 188th Street and East 189th Street for their residents.
The 40th Precinct had its K9 and mounted units interact with neighborhood youngsters at Brook Ave between East 137th Street and East 138th Street that pleasant evening.
“Our focus is to let the criminal element in our community know we are working with the police and we are not going to surrender to crime, quality of life expectations or anything else,” said Elizabeth Gill, 47th Precinct Community Council president emeritus.
Her precinct’s annual event featured entertainment, members of the precinct’s youth Explorers program, volunteer NYPD auxiliary police, clergy, NYPD personnel, and residents at Granada Place between Ely and Laconia avenues.
Meanwhile in the 45th Precinct, police officers personally contributed raffle items like bicycles and other great gifts to give away at the rear of a Co-op City building at 140 Benchley Place.
Other precincts around the borough also celebrated the day in style; like the 41st Precinct at the Police Athletic League Center at 991 Longwood Avenue, 42nd Precinct at Jennings Street between Prospect and Union avenues, 43rd Precinct at Bruckner Commons at 970 White Plains Road, 44th Precinct at East 169th Street between Walton and Gerard avenues, the 50th Precinct at West 234th Street between Broadway and Bailey Avenue, and the 52nd Precinct at Poe Park on the Grand Concourse at East 192nd Street.