Goldenites learn about public safety, law enforcement at National Night Out

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Of all the National Night Outs in all the towns in all the world, there’s something about Golden’s that makes it special.

Attendees described the Aug. 2 event in Parfet Park as well-organized, well-attended, informative and fun with a good neighborly atmosphere. While many county and statewide agencies attend the simultaneous National Night Out events across Jeffco and Colorado, many representatives were sent to Golden’s — even the governor attended this year.

This year was the city's 20th annual National Night Out event, also called Golden Night in the Park. Hundreds of local families attended and connected with 16 law enforcement agencies and other community organizations.

Jodie Marquez of the Golden Police Department, and chief organizer for the event, described how National Night Out allows these agencies to meet the people they serve “in relaxed environment.” The event averaged 800-1,000 attendees before the pandemic, and Marquez noted this year’s was the first one since 2019.

Along with Golden’s police and fire departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Denver office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office participated, among others.

Young children toured various vehicles on display and got their faces painted, while older children drove around a Colorado State Patrol cart while wearing goggles that simulated impairment.

Families took home stuffed animals, keychains, bicycle helmets and other goodies. As they waited for the Flight for Life helicopter, everyone chowed down on free popcorn, hotdogs, snow cones and root beer floats while listening to live music.

Standing by their new mobile communications vehicle, Jeffcom 911 team members were engaging younger attendees on what 911 is, how to use it and why it’s important.

With the adults, the team explained its new vehicle, which allows Jeffcom 911 to be on-scene at large-scale fires and similar events, and integrates Jeffcom 911 with incident command. Deputy Director Michael Brewer described how this reduces time in the decision-making process.

Although it’s a countywide agency, Jeffcom 911 could only attend one National Night Out event this year. While it might rotate around the county in future, Brewer said the team opted for Golden’s for 2022. Jeffcom 911 has a good relationship with GPD and GFD, and the event overall is well-organized, he continued.

Ultimately, Brewer felt like Marquez: Not only is National Night Out an opportunity to tell residents about Jeffcom 911 and its new technologies, but it also allows his staff to engage the community in a positive environment.

Arvada’s Maxfield family was enjoying its first time at National Night Out. The face-painting station was a particular favorite, as 6-year-old Carter got a shark on his leg and 2-year-old Lilly got a mermaid.

Mom Amie Maxfield heard about the event through her mother-in-law, who volunteers with a victim advocates group, and the whole family decided to attend.

“There’s lots of stuff for families to do," she said of the event.

Golden’s Brandy Lyman and her two children — Colt, 7, and Kat, 6 — attended the last National Night Out in 2019, recalling how they got to see the Flight for Life helicopter land.

“We have been looking forward to (National Night Out),” Brandy said.

Colt and Kat dressed as police officers last Halloween, she described, so she wanted to come back because it’s important for them to see how much good police do in the community.

As he addressed the crowd, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis emphasized the partnership aspect of the event, both in terms of partnerships among agencies and partnerships between them and the community. He hoped, by everyone working together, they’d “make Colorado a safer and more amazing place.”

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