GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Across the country and here in West Michigan, Tuesday was National Night Out.
It's the 30th year for the event, which brings together police and citizens in an effort to prevent crime and encourage cooperation. Several events were held across West Michigan (listed below).
PHOTOS: National Night Out
Among them was a gathering in Joe Taylor Park in Grand Rapids. Only two weeks ago, the park was swarming with police when an 18-year-old woman was shot in the leg as she sat in a pavilion. On Tuesday, police were there for something much more positive as they are cooperating with local churches and the community.
The Baxter Neighborhood Association said it wants the area to be more safe.
"A lot of people say we don't want to talk to the police, or whatever but when they're in trouble, they dial 911," the group's crime prevention organizer Marian Berrera-Young said. "And who comes? A police officer."
But when crime happens, many witnesses clam up.
Grand Rapids Police Sgt. James Wojczynski works in the area as part of the South Community Policing Team, and said events like National Night Out help officers get to know the people in the neighborhood, making it easier to break through the code of silence when it really counts -- like when someone has witnessed a crime.
"We need cooperation to help us solve the problem so we can prevent any type of future serious crime," Wojczynski said.
But like any successful relationship, building trust takes effort over time.
"A lot of the community police officers around here can't nobody get along with, and that's just telling the truth," resident Mike Gresham said.
And while events like National Night Out are a great start, changing that will take more.
"As far as the police department as a whole, I think they do what they do what they're suppose to do in the city, but there's a few bad apples," Gresham said.
Local churches play a big role in the community. Many served food Tuesday night and passed out home security information. Police said churches can provide an outlet for witnesses who don't want to talk to the police directly, as does Silent Observer.
A list of the scheduled National Night Out 2013 events around West Michigan --
- Free events and Grand Rapids Police Department representatives will visit the different events throughout the evening
Adams Park Apartments
- 1440 Fuller St. SE
- Parking lot
- Noon to 2 p.m.
- Recovery Booth, YWCA - Domestic Violence
- Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, bottled water, snacks and ice cream will be available
Alger Heights Neighborhood Association
- Alger Middle School, 921 Alger St. SE
- Parking lot
- 6:30-10:30 p.m.
- Games, petting Zoo, free pony rides, classic cars, DJ, free bike helmet giveaway, business association, GRPS, Healthy Homes, West Michigan Environmental, sign up for Pay as You Go Trash/Recycle cards, Churches of Alger Heights, bounce house, family-friendly movie at dusk, safety awareness flyers, JB's Pizza for sale, Sweet Melissa's lce Cream, cupcakes and popcorn will be available
Baxter Neighborhood Association
- Joe Taylor Park (on Baxter Street SE, between Diamond and Bemis)
- 6-8 p.m.
- Firehouse; music; face painting; games for youth; pizza, hot dogs and refreshments will be available
Creston Neighborhood Association
- Sweet Street Park (corner of College and Sweet)
- 4-7 p.m.
- Bounce house, games, bike registration, child fingerprinting kit, hot dogs, popcorn and Sno-Cones will be available
Cross Creek Condos Watch
- Cross Creek Condo Clubhouse, 2361 Edington Dr. SE, Edington SE and Breton Road SE
- 6-8 p.m.
- Prize drawing, pizza, dessert and beverages will be available
Eastown Community Association
- Sigsbee Park, 1250 Sigsbee St. SE
- 6-8 p.m.
- Kids' games, face painting, block club competitions, free smoke detectors from Healthy Homes, free energy-efficient lights bulbs, and crime prevention tips. Ice cream, popsicles, pop and juice will be available
Fuller Area Neighbors
- Fuller Avenue Church, 1239 Fuller Ave. SE
- 6-8 p.m.
- Basketball, crafts, Bible study; hot dog supper and Sno-Cones
Garfield Park Neighborhood Association
- Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave.
- 5-9 p.m. for activities
- 9-11 p.m. -- Movie "Oz, Great & Powerful"
- Slip and slide, bounce houses, pictures with RJ (Kroc Center mascot), popcorn and pop will be available
Heritage Hill Association
- Central High School, Rear Green Space, 400 block of Lyon Street NE
- 5:30-7:45 p.m.
- Bounce house; sack race; crafts; potluck picnic with grilled brats and hot dogs, bring a dish to pass, beverage and dinnerware will be provided
Midtown Neighborhood Association
- Midtown Green Park, 753 Fountain St. NE (Eastern Avenue NE)
- 6-9 p.m.
- Bounce house, face painting, balloons, treats, music, awards presentation, cool treats (popsicles)
Northeast Citizen Action Association
- Save-A-Lot parking lot, 1625 Leonard St. NE
- 7-9 p.m.
- Raffle, games and treats will be available, along with Flame-0 the Fire Safety Clown, face painting, special guests from the Grand Rapids Roller Derby
- River City Charter School, 944 Evergreen St. SE
- 6-8 p.m.
- Information on community resources; raffle; games, snacks, chips, candy and drinks will be available
- Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School, on Fisk between Cadillac and Chippewa
- 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Magician, bounce house, desserts, ice cream, hot and iced coffee will be available
Roosevelt Park Neighborhood
- Cesar Chavez Elementary Parking Lot, 1205 Grandville Ave. SW
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Games and face painting; music and informational booths from various agencies; hot dogs, ice cream and water will be available
Southeast Community Association
- 1408 Madison SE
- Noon to 3 p.m.
- Family-fun activities, bounce house, bike raffle, helmet giveaway, basketball, raffle, games, super heroes as special guests, hot dogs, cookies and pop will be available
Southwest Area Neighbors
- Lincoln Park, 1120 Bridge St. NW
- 7-8:30 p.m. for activities
- 8:30-10 p.m. -- Movie - "The Lorax"
- Children's games and information booths; popcorn, Sno-Cones and bottled water will also be available; food vendors may be parked on the street selling food items.
West Grand Neighborhood
- City View Church, 960 Alpine Ave. NW
- 6-8 p.m.
- Kids' games; DJ; dancing; karaoke; dunk tank; bounce house; face painting; hot dogs, chips, ice cream, refreshments and water will be available
- Block parties, cookouts and youth activities
- Arcadia Neighborhood Association -- Arcadia School -- 6-8 p.m.
- Eastside Neighborhood Association -- Rockwell Park at the corner of Trimble Avenue and Humphrey Street – 5-7 p.m.
- Edison Neighborhood Association -- 816 Washington Avenue -- 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Downtown Neighborhood Association -- Bronson Park -- 6-7:30 p.m. -- mingle with friends, neighbors and various member of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
- Milwood Neighborhood Association -- Greenwood Reformed Church -- 1815 Winton Ave. -- 6-8 p.m.
- Northside Neighborhood Association -- 612 N. Park St. -- 6-8 p.m.
- Stuart Neighborhood Association -- West Main Park -- 6-8 p.m.
- Vine Neighborhood Association -- Vine Street at Locust Place -- 5-8 p.m.
- Westwood -- at the corner of Stafford Road and Canterbury Avenue -- 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Parkview Hills -- Parkview Hills Clubhouse -- 7-9 p.m.
South Kent National Night Out event
- In the parking lot behind Peppino's South (across from Celebration Cinema South)
- 4-8 p.m.
- Everything is free
- A free concert, vintage cars on display, bounce houses for kids, and free ice cream and water will be part of the activities at Lamar Park.
- Representatives from the Wyoming Police Department will be there to discuss neighborhood safety. The Wyoming Historical Society will offer a presentation on the history of Wyoming.
- The cars will arrive at 5:45 p.m. and the concert will start at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Michigan State Spartans will be taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the Big Ten College Football title. On Friday, fans began gathering in Indianapolis for the big game.
Two Kalamazoo men are in jail after Kalamazoo officers found them with money stolen from Sunny Mart Friday afternoon.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.