TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Safe Streets in Topeka held National Night Out in various locations around the city. National Night Out is an event where the community gathers together to curb crime. One neighborhood is using the event as a spring-board to stop crime. National Night Out here at Hi-Crest had a main goal of curbing crime in their community.
“This is the first time we have had it, and people don’t know exactly what to expect,” Nellie Hogan, the event organizer said.
But what they can expect is curbing crime by bringing the community together — whether it was to play basketball or to listen to music.
“Not everybody goes back to the old school blues and good music you know,” Leroy Lattimore III, a Topeka resident said.
But the event was not just about the blues music.
“We have had some bad things go on in our neighborhood in the past and we are sort of defined that way but that is not who we are,” Hogan said.
This event also served a purpose of having community members meet each other.
“It gets you guys on the friendship basis and opens the doors of communication,” Lt. Andrew Beightel said.
And that communication is something which Lt. Andrew Beightel said will curb crime.
“We had a big crime spike in the Hi-Crest area last year. We got the community together and had more community programs and community involvement and yes the crime did fall after that,” said Lt. Beightel.
“Your hooligans know that they are not welcome in an area like this, this area is for law abiding citizens,” Lattimer III said.
Lt. Beightel says that open line of communication will help Topeka Police better address issues in their community. This event serves a deeper meaning for the residents of Hi-crest.
“We can show the other neighborhoods in town we get together, we play together, we eat together, and we enjoy each other’s company,” Hogan said.
Hogan told KSNT News she hopes Hi-Crest holds National Night Out next year as well. Around 80 communities participated in National Night Out according to officials from Safe Streets.