Chuck Doud/The Madera Tribune
About 30 National Night Out participants, along with city officials, were called to the podium in the City Council Chambers on Wednesday to be honored for their participation in last year’s event.
Volunteers and city staff members who participated in last year’s National Night Out event were honored by the mayor and city council Wednesday night at the council meeting in City Hall.
Madera was ranked third in the state by the National Association of Town Watch for its participation.
City community outreach coordinator Saleh Alhomedi detailed the accomplishments with members of local Neighborhood Watch groups, public safety representatives and elected officials at the standing-room-only meeting.
According to www.natw.org, in addition to ranking 3rd in the state, Madera was ranked 17th nationwide for its performance, according to Joseph Carrello, the city’s communications specialist. Two thousand sixteen was not the first year the city was honored for its Neighborhood Watch participation, said Alhomedi. Madera ranked number 35 in 2015, and was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2014.
“This is a huge accomplishment for the City of Madera,” said Jim Taubert, executive director of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Department. “However, the real recognition should go to our neighborhood leaders, elected officials, and public safety departments. The uniqueness of our event is based on the broad-based support of our residents and the participation of Police, Cal Fire, Probation, Pistoresi Ambulance, representatives from the school district, and faith-based organizations. It has become a true ‘citywide’ event”.
Madera’s National Night Out efforts resulted in the participation of hundreds of residents who gathered in more than 40 different locations throughout the city, said Alhomedi. Events in these neighborhoods included barbecues, block parties, family games, and other live entertainment. Police, firefighters, and elected officials visited multiple locations engaging with residents and discussing strategies to build strong neighborhoods.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our community,” said Mayor Andy Medellin. “We came together as Maderans to continue to promote community self-policing and awareness, meet new neighbors and rekindle existing relationships with people in our neighborhoods. Madera showed its true colors when we came together collaboratively with local law enforcement, city staff, elected officials, community partners and most importantly the block captains and residents who participated to make our National Night Out such a huge success. I look forward to extending our continued success this year”.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to help build stronger neighborhoods.
This is the third year the city has participated in the program. City leaders have detailed plans to build on the successes of last year’s National Night Out efforts by working with representatives of Madera County to expand the program into neighborhoods that stretch beyond the city’s limits in 2017.