National Night Out – Light Crowd, but it was Hot!

Dozens of residents came out to gather for the annual Merrillville National Night Out event. I even had one of my constituents stop by wearing his t-shirt from the first-ever event in Merrillville decades ago through the Merrillville Neighborhood Watch Association. We got to talk about how Merrillville has changed and things that were missing in town now! But I guess that’s progress.

The annual Night Out event is designed to bring people together and remind everyone that we are all neighbors. It provides a chance to strengthen relations between the community and law enforcement. Many of our officers are excited to further build this relationship. Lowering the barriers between our police and residents is key to working together to fight crime and strengthen our community.  

I need to thank many groups who came out to provide food, bouncy houses for the kids, and the Lake County Sheriff’s office for landing the police helicopter allowing residents to take a closer look at the amazing flying machine. Impact church also always goes out to provide services and to assist the town in building community.

I would love to get your feedback about how we may improve on this event. Some have mentioned that perhaps we need to go back to smaller neighborhood events like street parties allowing residents to have their own events to just get neighbors to come out of their homes to mingle. I personally like this idea and would support efforts to see that happen. Just picture each subdivision having a little cookout and the police stop by to meet everyone to again, build community. Let me know what you think. I feel that FOOD really can bring people together. And I know there are many neighborhood grillers out there that might love showing off their mad skills preparing some food for their neighbors! Perhaps a citizen committee could be formed to discuss and offer ideas.

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Working together we can be strong. Let’s do that!  – Rick Bella, Town Council President

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