Tuesday was National Night Out, a yearly event for law enforcement to connect with the community — an opportunity to get neighbors to meet neighbors and hopefully keep an eye out for one another.
“A young girl, seven and half years old, walked up and gave me a beautiful little card,” said Bend Police Deputy Chief Paul Kansky. “It had a token of appreciation in it. A note, a scripture, and she thanked me and gave me a hug for everything police do in this community.”
Kansky says that is what Tuesday at Bend High School was all about.
“It’s about us engaging with our community members,” he said. “Us telling them we appreciate them. How much we want to be a part of their daily lives and them as well, just telling us that as well. That is what it is about. Building those relationships.”
There was food, vendors, a canine demonstration, a drone demonstration, tug of war and a balloon toss at the event.
It was all for a chance for the community and law enforcement to come together for a good time, and the community showed up for National Night Out.
“I have done the Ronald McDonald house tattoo,” said little Frankie Haskell. “I have went to the bouncy house, and we’re about to head to the other bouncy houses over there right now.”
“So far I have been to that booth and that booth, many booths,” said young Yvonne Ramirez-Aparicio.
For Bend Police, this event was like no other.
“This is the first year we have hosted something like this of this capacity,” said Bend Police Community Relations Manager Jessica Rich. “We’ve participated in other events in past years, but this is the first event we have had this sort of formal event that we are hosting.”
A night of fun and trust that local law enforcement hopes will continue throughout the year.
Thank you to the community for coming out and even those who couldn’t make it today,” said Kansky. “Just thanks for supporting us. We know in Bend, Oregon, that our department feels the support of the community, and we hope that is part because of the trust we earned and we always want to do that.”
Bend Police wasn’t the only local law enforcement celebrating National Night Out. Redmond Police was at Centennial Park and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office held events at La Pine Senior Center and in Sisters at Green Village.