Cotati’s National Night Out

Motorcycle Officer Reinke generously shared his machine with several excited kids including Beau Murphy on the motorcycle.

National Night Out was started in a small Pennsylvania town in 1970 as a means to promote harmony between the police and citizens. The first Tuesday in August was selected and the tradition began. Since then, the idea has spread across the entire country and Canada. The city of Cotati held its first NNO in 2016 featuring a BBQ and movie in La Plaza Park. After missing a year because of Covid, the city decided to replace exposed food and shared condiments with a catered, prepared, box meal. This task was handled deliciously by two local restaurants. Spring Thai served egg Pad Thai, fried rice, and spring rolls and Cotija’s Mexican provided burritos filled with beef, bean & cheese, and grilled chicken. 

Police chief Mike Parish presided over the celebration and emphasized the importance of a “family friendly” and “kid driven” interactive event. Goody bags were available for the kids that included an honorary police badge, foldable, 3D police car, 911 sticker, and a “Rescue workers are my friends” book mark. Chief Parish was eager to point out that the Cotati police coordinate with the Sonoma State campus police when necessary. 

City manager Damien O’Bid was in the crowd along with many helpful volunteers that efficiently distributed the complimentary food and drink. They had been working on planning this anticipated evening for about the past seven months. A fire truck and crew from the Rancho Adobe Fire District were also present to meet with the kids and answer questions. Activities available included, “connect four,” “toss across tic tac toe,” and “corn hole” boards. There were many happy kids and families in attendance.  The evening was concluded with the showing of a kid favorite animated movie, “Paw Patrol.” From comments heard around the park, this affair was deemed successful in stimulating camaraderie and creating a greater rapport between police, fire personnel, city officials, and the public.

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