National Night Out draws big crowds across suburbs

  • Jose Rodriguez and Margarita Malgon, both of Elgin, dance to the music of a mariachi band Tuesday during one of five Elgin Police Department-organized National Night Out events.

      Jose Rodriguez and Margarita Malgon, both of Elgin, dance to the music of a mariachi band Tuesday during one of five Elgin Police Department-organized National Night Out events. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin police officer Edwin Alva, who organized Tuesday's National Night Out party on Spring Street, poses for a photo with a pair of iguanas from House of Ig. House of Ig is a rescue organization for iguanas and other reptiles.

      Elgin police officer Edwin Alva, who organized Tuesday's National Night Out party on Spring Street, poses for a photo with a pair of iguanas from House of Ig. House of Ig is a rescue organization for iguanas and other reptiles. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Melissa Perez, 2, of Elgin enjoys some cotton candy Tuesday during a National Night Out event in Elgin.

      Melissa Perez, 2, of Elgin enjoys some cotton candy Tuesday during a National Night Out event in Elgin. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Teddy Markin, 4 and Ben Zavler, 5 check out a police ATV during the Campton Hills National Night Out event on Tuesday.

    Teddy Markin, 4 and Ben Zavler, 5 check out a police ATV during the Campton Hills National Night Out event on Tuesday. Mark Black/Shaw Local News Network

  • Mark Black/Shaw Local News Network Campton Hills police dog Kota takes down an "offender" during a demonstration Tuesday at the local National Night Out event.

    Mark Black/Shaw Local News Network Campton Hills police dog Kota takes down an "offender" during a demonstration Tuesday at the local National Night Out event.

  • Elburn & Countryside firefighters demonstrate freeing a victim from a serious auto accident Tuesday during the Campton Hills National Night Out event.

    Elburn & Countryside firefighters demonstrate freeing a victim from a serious auto accident Tuesday during the Campton Hills National Night Out event. Mark Black / Shaw Media

  • Julia Gavin, 2, gets a balloon tied to her wrist by her mom, Megan, of Arlington Heights at the National Night Out event Tuesday at North School Park in Arlington Heights.

      Julia Gavin, 2, gets a balloon tied to her wrist by her mom, Megan, of Arlington Heights at the National Night Out event Tuesday at North School Park in Arlington Heights. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Children put temporary handprints on an Arlington Heights Police vehicle at the National Night Out event Tuesday at North School Park in Arlington Heights.

      Children put temporary handprints on an Arlington Heights Police vehicle at the National Night Out event Tuesday at North School Park in Arlington Heights. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Anthony Pena, 14, of Vernon Hills stocks a large tub with drinks and ice Tuesday at the National Night Out event at Hartmann Park in Vernon Hills. He said he volunteered to work because he is trying to improve his rank in the Boy Scouts.

      Anthony Pena, 14, of Vernon Hills stocks a large tub with drinks and ice Tuesday at the National Night Out event at Hartmann Park in Vernon Hills. He said he volunteered to work because he is trying to improve his rank in the Boy Scouts. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Hannah Gilkison, 5, looks at the bucket of blue dye her father, David, just pulled a shirt out of at the National Night Out event Tuesday at Hartmann Park in Vernon Hills. They were making a the dye t-shirt.

      Hannah Gilkison, 5, looks at the bucket of blue dye her father, David, just pulled a shirt out of at the National Night Out event Tuesday at Hartmann Park in Vernon Hills. They were making a the dye t-shirt. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/3/2022 6:37 AM

Officer Edwin Alva was joined by about 1,500 friends and neighbors who flooded Spring Street in downtown Elgin Tuesday in the largest of five National Night Out events organized by officers from the Elgin Police Department.

"This is just us coming together and showing the great things that Elgin does," he said. "This is a prime example of how strong our community is."

 

It was Alva's second time organizing a party on the street where he serves as a resident officer in the ROPE program. It's also about two blocks away from where he grew up.

"Me being from here, being a ROPE officer in this neighborhood really hits home," Alva said. "I'm loving it, being able to showcase my roots. This really shows how well we're connected with the community."

National Night Out, held every year on the first Tuesday in August, is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. This year National Night out is expected to involve close to 38 million people in more than 16,500 communities.

Alva organized the Spring Street event with the help of the nearby Salvation Army and local churches and businesses. Music thumped from both ends of the blocks-long party, with a DJ on the south end and bands on the north side. Partygoers danced in the street while kids enjoyed inflatables and face painting. Businesses and local organizations set up tables between booths giving out free food and drinks. The Gail Borden Public Library handed out more 250 free books.

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State Rep. Anna Moeller chatted with folks at her tent, where staff members gave away candy to folks who answered basic government trivia.

"This is the great part of living in a community like this," Moeller said. "One of the things I love most about Elgin is that we are very neighborhood oriented and community oriented."

Scores of communities across the suburbs marked National Night Out on Tuesday.

A police honor guard opened the night's festivities at North School Park in Arlington Heights. Local businesses and organizations handed out information and prizes to visitors, who also were able to meet police dogs as well as dip their hands in white paint and leave their print on an Arlington Heights police truck.

The Vernon Hills Police Department held its event at Hartmann Park with a DJ, an inflatable playground, sand volleyball and lots of free food and drinks.

In Campton Hills, firefighters demonstrated how they free crash victims from wreckage. and a police dog named Kota subdued a well-padded "offender."

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