Rock Island, IL
Neighbors Rally for National Night Out
The message at the National Night Out Against Crime rally in Rock Island was loud and clear: "We are trying to keep our streets clean," said organizer Debra Swift, "and keep our neighbors together."
And it was a message that resonated not only through Sunset Park in Rock Island but through the entire country.
"There are some 10,000 communities and 33,000,000 Americans who are participating in this same kind of event across the country," said Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert, "just like we are in Rock Island."
So to encourage neighborhood togetherness and unity, the grill was hot, the inflatables were jumping, and feet were stepping. The Metrolpolitan Youth Marching Group performed for the crowd with drum beats and a step show.
Besides all the fun, there was some education. Police were on hand showing how they fight crime, there were K-9 units, signs and even taser demos. Channel 4 Eyewitness News reporter Carolyn Ryan stepped up for the demonstration.
"I was a little apprehensive before getting started," said Carolyn. "Then before I knew it, the pain shot through my body and froze my muscles, even if only for a second. Thank goodness for the nice cop who what there to catch my fall."
"Mainly the demonstration was just (to show) that we have several different options available to us to protect the public," said Ron Erickson.
Apparently, the demonstrations made quite an impact on some.
"I want to be a cop," said a 9-year old named Rayvon, "because it's fun to be a cop and nice to help other people."
And, even if you don't grow up to be a police officer, the organizers of the National Night Out Against Crime say you can still play an important role.
"(The police) can't see everything or be everywhere," sayd Kevin Isaacs of the Community Caring Conference, "it takes neighbors helping neighbors to fight crime."
And the event didn't stop at the park. Everyone was encouraged to go home, turn on the porch light and mingle with their neighbors. They say simple acts like these can help prevent crime in your neighborhood.
"I want to be a cop," said a 9-year old named Rayvon, "because it's fun to be a cop and nice to
Fixed it for him
who wouldn't be happy about shooting a reporter with a taser?