Last night, I attended the National Night Out event sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Department at the Harry S. Thomas Recreation Center. It was a great opportunity to interact with police officers, despite the blaring Smooth Jazz 105.9 (just kidding, I prefer Miles Davis or John Coltrane). These National Night Out events took place at locations throughout the city.
I had a great conversation with Sgt. Nicole Webster (picture above, click to enlarge), from the Internal Affairs Division. It is often rumored that officers are regularly pulled off the street due to frivolous police abuse claims filed by criminals, but Sgt. Webster said that police officers are given desk duty only in cases where there is reasonable cause to believe that abuse might have occurred.
Although the officers were great, event planning is always a challenge: Councilman Thomas made an appearance, but no other familiar 5c-02 residents attended the event, aside from Citizen Advisory Council member Tom Usselman, Michael Henderson, and new resident Crystal Chavez (pictured here with Officer Wytch (left) and Officer Miles). Overall, it was a productive event that could have been even more productive with the advance involvement of community leaders.