National Night Out

Time to visit and play
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Neighbors in both the rural and city limit sections of Lincoln got out of the house and into the summer heat this week for National Night Out. Although National Night Out is officially held Tuesday, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office held a special National Night Out event Monday at the Thermalands Community Center, located near Camp Far West Lake. Residents mingled with Placer County Sheriff deputies and firefighters from Placer County Fire, enjoyed a potluck dinner and games. “Any time we get involved with the community, it makes it easier to spread the word about fire prevention,” said Cal Fire/Placer County Fire Battalion Chief Jim Mathias. “It helps make a better partnership.” Rick Hartmann, a Thermalands resident, volunteer firefighter and Thermalands Community Center board chairman, talked to The News Messenger about why National Night Out is significant. “It’s important to get all of the neighbors to come together and keep looking out for each other,” Hartmann said. “The Placer County Sheriff’s Office was nice enough to be here.” National Night Out was celebrated Tuesday in Lincoln, with parties reported in Twelve Bridges, Sun City Lincoln Hills and at 1645 First St. at the Parkview Apartment Complex. Although the Lincoln Police and Fire departments couldn’t commit to being at each party, both Police Chief Paul Shelgren and Fire Chief Dave Whitt said patrol officers and firefighters would make appearances at parties. “We just don’t have the resources to coordinate efforts to put six to seven cars out and visit parties,” Shelgren said. “The patrol officers, if time allows, will stop in.” Shelgren said he visited six National Night Out parties, five of which were in Del Webb and one on First Street. The News Messenger asked Shelgren why he stopped by the parties. “It’s to be involved. We are willing people to be involved and engaged. We have to do that and be out there and be part of the community,” Shelgren said. “It’s tough with our resources but we can’t use that as an excuse to disengage from the community.” Whitt was on vacation but said the fire department would stop by parties. The annual event is a “nice way for us to visit without a crisis type of environment,” according to Whitt. “I think we are going to try to hit them,” Whitt said. He said Monday that the fire department received a list of party locations. “We can try to go ahead and get to them all.” Mayor Paul Joiner and City Councilmen Stan Nader and Tom Cosgrove were at the First Street party, which was organized by ReDirect and the Police Activities League. “The importance of tonight is that people in the community are getting together,” Cosgrove said. “Our role is to support the efforts and say hi to the folks that are doing good things in the community. When neighbors look out for each other, it keeps the community a safer place.” Apartment resident Lupe Guzman and Jessica Sanchez, 16, helped ReDirect’s Karen Hernandez grill hot dogs at one point. “It’s important for all of the kids to get together where they live, and to get out and play,” Guzman said. Brian Ramos, 11, tried his hand at ladder ball, one of the games National Night Out sponsor Target had set up for kids to play and win prizes at. “It was fun that we get to hang out with all of our friends,” Brian said.