The Coppell Police Department hosted their first National Night Out since the advent of COVID-19.
A total of 73 block parties were organized throughout the city to celebrate with Coppell first responders and members of City Council on Oct. 5. Comparatively, around 86 parties were organized in 2019.
“There was a little bit of a drop-off due to COVID, but for not having it for two years, to bounce back and have that many was pretty awesome,” Public Information Officer Paul Gonzales said.
National Night Out is intended as a way to build relationships between residents and law enforcement to build a stronger sense of community by bringing then together under positive circumstances.
“It's a huge event for us,” Gonzales said. “It's our opportunity to reach out to the community and to tell them 'thank you' for all the support we get on a daily basis throughout the year. It's key for us, from our standpoint, to spend some time with the public in a more relaxed atmosphere and hear directly from them what their needs are and to respond to any questions they might have.”
Gonzalez said the best part of the even was having one-on-one human interaction with residents.
“Over the past year and a half, two years with COVID, that human interaction has lessened somewhat because of the virus,” he said. “It was really good to get out and just talk to people and hear what their needs are and see how we're doing as an agency -- get their perspective and to relax and have some fun with our public.”
Gonzales said he thinks the event will grow as they continue to host National Night Out.
“I certainly hope so,” he said. “I know it's contingent on some part as things go with COVID. That will impact things, but hopefully it'll continue to get better. I think it was a big success.”
Gonzales said residents are always enthusiastic when meeting members of the police and fire department.
“We're very thankful for the community and support we have,” he said. “We don't take it for granted, and we love serving the citizens of Coppell.”