The Power of Connection

Tuesday, August 8, was National Night Out. All around Wichita there were Block Parties organized to help neighbors get to know each other and have fun. I got to go to the Block Party that was organized by the South Central Neighborhood Association and Bethany UMC here in my neighborhood. 

As I stood eating a hot dog and chips, talking with my neighbor Mark a few police officers were milling around meeting folks. Mark kept cracking jokes about hiding from the police. One officer came over to us and we had a brief conversation. It was awesome! He was telling us that the idea for National Night Out started in Minnesota. The idea behind it was simply encouraging neighbors to get to know each other because "the best defense against crime is knowing your neighbors." He went on to tell us several statistics about crime reduction in connected neighborhoods. 

 Chatting with an officer, while face painting happens behind us. 

Chatting with an officer, while face painting happens behind us. 

And there you have it! A good illustration that the Neighboring Movement has been unfolding for a while and that it really does make a difference in communities. 

 Not everyone got to talk with the police officers...they had other, more important things to do (like catch water balloons!)

Not everyone got to talk with the police officers...they had other, more important things to do (like catch water balloons!)