Lawrence celebrates 26th annual National Night Out


Neighborhoods throughout Lawrence celebrated the community’s 26th annual National Night Out Aug. 1 with Lawrence Police Department, Lawrence Fire Department and city officials.

For about four hours, law enforcement and public safety officials visited neighborhoods to reinforce positive relationships with the public.

LPD Deputy Chief of Police Gary Woodruff said Lawrence has participated in National Night Out for 26 years. It’s a nationwide event that started in 1984.

Woodruff said the event gives law enforcement and public safety officials a way to interact with residents in a positive atmosphere.

“Typically, when we’re in a neighborhood we were called there to resolve an issue because of some crime in progress or some neighborhood issue,” he said.

First responders and officials visited neighborhoods such as Wickshire Fort Harris and Fox Pointe, where music and refreshments were provided.

Resident Natalie Northrop said National Night Out benefits the community.

“Especially the young ones who are scared of the people in uniform,” Northrop said. “They’re making them feel welcome.”

LPD Chief Curtis Bigsbee said since the city has participated in the event, and Public Safety Day, the department has formed a healthy connection with local residents.

Bigsbee said he wants to increase community engagement.

“We have 19 communities right now involved (in National Night Out),” Bigsbee said.  “I would love to see 25 communities involved or more.”