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Brooklyn Park neighborhood uses best crime deterrent

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Published on Aug 2, 2017

At a time when police and community relations are strained, Tuesday night's annual National Night Out gatherings offered a true opportunity for police and residents to connect with each other.
In Brooklyn Park, police chief Craig Enevoldsen understands his department and officers are not immune to the national police scrutiny. At a gathering early Tuesday evening at the police department, Enevoldsen encouraged the men and women in his department to go out and engage with each neighborhood.
"We've been going through a lot for the last 28 months or so, if not longer, so if you have the chance, get out and just interact with some folks and just have some fun, I think that's important for us to remember," Enevoldsen told officers.
Each year, National Night Out provides a chance, an opportunity for law enforcement to walk into a neighborhood, not on patrol, but rather, on a mission to connect and communicate with one another.
"That's really the next step in policing. That's what we need to be better about, we need to be better about getting out and making contact with communities of all types," said Matthew Rabe, Brooklyn Park's new community engagement officer.
Gathering together and socializing within a neighborhood has benefits for all parties involved.
Kathy Hand's Riverview Lane neighborhood has more than 20 years of experience hosting a National Night Out gathering. Neighbors here know each other well, but they also act as a power watch group when it comes to fighting crime.
"We have a group that everybody is on the same emails, so there is notifications when something is going on," said Rachel Reichenbach. "Recently, we had issues with people breaking into cars: everybody knew, everybody was aware, we talked about it. It's just a group that everybody watches each others backs, so you're not at risk."
Relationships aren't formed overnight. They take time. Near Brooklyn Park's Greenspruce Court, it was a small gathering Tuesday: a first National Night Out for the neighborhood.
"We had five or six houses [participate], out of, I think 34," said Amanda Naylor. "We'll get better and better every year."
One gathering can't erase all tensions, but one connection can build a better sense of community
In Brooklyn Park alone, 186 National Night Out parties were held Tuesday night.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
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CCX Media is on Comcast xfinity and CenturyLink prism in the Northwest Suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.

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