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Escalon Celebrates National Night Out
Regina Scoma of Escalon had to raise her voice over the sound of police sirens.

The Sacramento Street resident vividly recalled the incident that occurred last month, when someone tried to break into her neighbor's house.

"I saw him in my neighbor's backyard one morning, trying to open a window."

Scoma said she called 9-1-1, and the Escalon Police Department responded and captured the person.

As the sound of the approaching sirens became louder, Scoma said her neighborhood was diligent about watching for strangers.

"We're always watching out for each another, but I think it's a great idea to do this."

With that, about half a dozen Escalon police cars came around the corner, filling the neighborhood with their presence. Fire trucks and an ambulance followed.

It wasn't a robbery or house fire or natural disaster occurring on a quiet Tuesday evening on Sacramento Street; rather, it was Escalon's annual National Night Out celebration.

Sacramento Street was the third of eight stops the contingent of police, fire, city and ambulance personnel would make during the evening, stressing the importance of neighborhoods reclaiming the night.

Escalon Police Chief Doug Dunford said National Night Out is an important community event.

"It's all about the citizens in the community taking back their neighborhoods," he said.

It wasn't only the police and fire departments representing the city, though. Mayor Gary Haskin and mayor pro tem Walt Murken, along with council members Ed Alves and Marty Van Houten joined the caravan. City Manager Greg Greeson, New Public Works Superintendent Patrick Riggs, City Clerk Lisa Nebe, Finance Director Ricky Gibbs and City Planner Duane Peterson were also involved in the festivities.

Monte Sappenfield was one of the hosts on Chianti Court, the first stop for the Night Out contingent. He said his wife, Jackie, usually organizes the event for the neighborhood, but was out of town for National Night Out. Chianti Court established one of the first neighborhood groups for National Night Out, hosting the event in their neighborhood every year since its inception in the local area.

"We have a great time doing this every year," Sappenfield said as he manned the barbeque.