Maple Grove Awarded Second Place for 2016 National Night Out
Dec 29, 2016 09:28PM
● By Wendy Erlien
Maple Grove Chief of Police Eric Werner (right) and Captain of Patrol Dan Wills (left) grill lunch for community members at the 2016 National Night Out Kick Off Aug. 2. (photo by Wendy Erlien)
Each August, neighbors and community members throughout Maple Grove join in as thousands nationwide celebrate National Night Out.
The community-wide gatherings in 2016 earned Maple Grove a second place award for cities with populations between 50,000-100,000, according to the National Association of Town Watch.
Maple Grove Chief of Police Eric Werner said he was “excited” to learn of the award. “To me, it is more than an award,” he said. “It reflects all of the good and hard work in the community.”
National Night Out 2016 in Maple Grove included the annual kickoff event at the Maple Grove Community Center followed by dozens of neighborhoods throughout the city hosting block parties in the evening. Maple Grove elected officials, police, fire, and other National Night out supporters and partners visited the block parties to connect with community members.
“Each year, our city is judged on things such as neighborhood participation, improving police/community relations, and heightening awareness on crime prevention/anti-crime programs,” Maple Grove Crime Prevention Officer Todd Strege. “These core items, along with some of our unique activities, such as the National Night Out kick off, are part of how our city is judged and received its second place award.”
Nearby Brooklyn Park was awarded third place in the same category. Suffolk, VA was awarded first place. Maple Grove was awarded first place in 2015 and third place in 2014.
"The police department is proud of the award and is grateful for the support of the City Council, City Administrator, the leadership from the National Night Out (NNO) Block Party Captains, and all the residents in general. Community Service Officer/Crime Prevention Specialist Todd Strege's leadership continues to bring the entire event together and allows the City to have a tremendous impact on safety through NNO's relationship building work,” Werner commented on a statement on the Maple Grove Police Department’s Facebook page in November.
“In 2017, our goals will be to increase the number of block parties throughout our city and we will continue to promote our medicine disposal drop box,” Strege said. “In the meantime, we encourage neighborhoods to consider starting a neighborhood watch group in order to connect with each other and the Maple Grove Police Department. Residents could also look at creating a nextdoor.com page for their neighborhoods.”