By Rachel Hall, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
National Night Out, held nationwide in October, brings neighbors together every year.
“Tonight is a combination of getting the community together and raising money for a good cause,” explained Roman Forest Police Chief Stephen Carlisle.
The spaghetti fundraiser held at Roman Forest City Hall on Oct. 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. provided a chance for families to mingle with each other, as well as eat dinner among law enforcement and city officials.
“The police department uses National Night Out to help humanize the officers and shake hands,” said Chief Carlisle.
Hosting the event at City Hall usually provides a chance for community members to meet city employees, city council members, police officers, firefighters, and one another.
“We actually have two events tonight – one here at City Hall and one at Tavola Elementary,” said Chief Carlisle. “There is a fire truck and food trucks at the elementary school.”
The crowd this year who arrived at the spaghetti fundraiser numbered fewer than in years past, but many still participated in the annual event that has been held for over a decade.
“It’s tradition,” Chief Carlisle explained as to why Roman Forest decided to host the event as regularly scheduled despite spending the last several weeks focused on recovery from flooding.
Chief Carlisle has seen first-hand the positive impact events such as National Night Out has had on youth. He recalled one individual who had a negative interaction with law enforcement around the age of 13 who started attending the annual event and later changed his perception of the police.
“He is an adult now and a supporter of law enforcement,” said Chief Carlisle.
In addition to the night’s dinner and mingling, families had access to finger printing kits for their children in case of emergency. Child Identification Information booklets were handed out for free as well as information to help protect against identify theft.
National Night Out will be held again at Roman Forest City Hall in October 2020.