HomeCommunity News“Mission Accomplished” for City at “National Night Out”

“Mission Accomplished” for City at “National Night Out”

SMFD Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Tsay guides a young resident in extinguishing a fire during National Night Out with SMFD vehicles on display at the fire department during National Night Out. Rafael Najarian Photos

What may have been the largest crowd in the history of San Marino’s participation in the National Night Out program brought what some estimates believe to be approximately 500 community members to City Hall on Tuesday evening.

“I think it went very, very well,” San Marino Police Chief John Incontro said on Wednesday morning. “It was a great turnout and there were a lot of people that I had not met before. We thought it was a great event.”

Established in 1984, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes partnerships between police and the community they serve. San Marino is relatively new to the concept and routinely invites the fire department to take part in the festivities.

“The relationship between police and fire is very important to this community,” Incontro said of National Night Out, which was held in the block that includes San Marino City Hall and the San Marino Police and Fire Departments.

Community organizations were on hand to promote their activities and young people were able to enjoy snacks and partake in face painting and a fire extinguisher demonstration, among other attractions. A movie was also was shown for the children.

San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda extended his appreciation and gratitude for Incontro and the SMPD and echoed the program’s goal of “building trust within the community.”

“Police and fire are on the same team, we just wear different uniforms,” Rueda told The Tribune. “We work together closely, we support one another, we respond on the same calls and we have the sane desire to protect and serve our residents.” Rueda also commented that attendance has been on a steady increase and credited a sudden reduction in temperature as a factor for Tuesday’s large crowd..

“This is an exceptional event for our town,” Rueda said.

Nationwide, millions take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August.

Incontro said that four community members personally volunteered on Tuesday to serve as block captains and that at least twenty more signed up for the city’s Neighborhood Watch program.

“We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish,” Incontro said.

With San Marino’s schools opening next week, the chief also said that his department will slightly shift its focus towards student safety while tightening up on traffic circulation during student commute times.

He also told The Tribune that the city will hold a safety training exercise in the Emergency Operations Center along with city staff and members of the San Marino Unified SchoolDistrict, sometime in early September, that will demonstrate the city’s preparedness.

“We will work through a scenario that will show we are ready,” Incontro said.

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