National Night Out Brings Neighborhoods, Police Back Together After COVID

The Piedmont neighborhood was full of music and the smell of food as everyone celebrated what they call the return to events bringing the neighborhood together.

DULUTH, Minn.- National Night Out was celebrated once again across the Northland Tuesday, serving as a way to bring people together while also promoting police and community partnerships.

The Piedmont neighborhood was full of music and the smell of food as everyone celebrated what they call the return to events bringing the neighborhood together.

Organizers at Piedmont Dental said they’re thrilled to bring the event to their lot for a 6th year. “We’re really just glad to be able to see our neighbors,” Dr. Heidi Spoelhof said.

“We haven’t had much as far as social events with staying close to home during the Pandemic and it was a good opportunity to be able to hold something outside and see everybody,” she said.

The event featured barbecue from Famous Dave’s, a chance to meet Champ the UMD Bulldog and other prizes and treats. “I liked the snow-cones,” said 5-year-old Levi Norman.

Guests got a look inside the Duluth Police Department’s new “CODE4” bus.

The bus was donated by the Duluth Transit Authority and provided through the JAG Grant, which focuses on community policing initiatives. It’ll be used to hand out treats to kids, as a recruitment tool, a mobile breakroom for cops at events, and emergency shelter for evacuees.

Kids also got a chance to get to know Duluth Police officers, and get their own personal police badge. “Seeing the logos” was Levi’s favorite part.

“It’s great to just come out and see neighbors and friends and the community and for our son to come out and meet police officers and fire officers, just nice night of community,” said Peter, Levi’s father.

Chief Tusken says having events like this again is just one way they hope to increase engaging with the community after the pandemic prevented them from doing so.

“The last 18 months unless you called 911 we didn’t have a lot of opportunity to do community engagement and we’re back with community engagement 2.0,” he said. “And so this is kind of our kickoff to restarting to engage with our community like we did all those months ago before COVID hit.”

“I always say that community is our strength and that’s because it’s our community that truly helps us keep our community safe,” said the Chief.

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