Cedar Rapids neighborhood takes part in National Night Out
Written by Jason Epner, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Tonight millions of people will take part in "National Night Out."
Jessica Brockhuis is proud to call the Wellington Heights neighborhood in Cedar Rapids her home. "I like the neighborhood, our little block's nice and quiet and people are still out," Brockhuis said. She says she likes that she can rely on the people who live close by. "It's a good thing to know who your neighbors are so that way you can look out for each other," Brockhuis said.
Tuesday night Brockhuis and many more in this neighborhood are coming together as part of "National Night Out" taking a symbolic stand against criminal activity.
"We should know who belongs in each house and if we see something going on that we don't think is right then we're not afraid to call the police," says Terry Bilsland, the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association President.
While the vast majority of Wellington Heights is calm, peaceful, and friendly, specific sections of the area have been prone to high amounts of criminal activity. Police say they've seen more people aware of what's going on in the area and willing to call when something isn't right.
"You could have 30 people that just saw a drive by shooting or shots fired and nobody saw anything, but now the neighbors that actually have roots here that have a commitment to the community are coming forward," says Cristy Hamblin, of the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
Many in this neighborhood are hoping events like tonight's will help keep the area crime free. "If you want to live in a better neighborhood you just have to step up and do what's right, and that's what we're trying to get people," Bilsland said.
"Just trying to keep an eye on things, making sure nothing hinky's going on," Brockhuis said.
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive.More >>
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive, and cheered as he rolled close.More >>
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