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Community Gathers For National Night Out
Escalon Police Department Sgt. Milt Medeiros, left, shares a smile with Public Works personnel Juston Collins, center, and Jake Cook as they try on the replica fire helmets during National Night Out. Marg Jackson/The Times


From the first stop at Saron Lutheran Church on North Street to the final event on Oakwood Drive, a contingent of police, fire, ambulance, and city officials made their way around Escalon for National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The traditional ‘take back the night’ from crime and drugs event was buoyed by near-perfect weather, with a light breeze and lower than normal summer temperatures.

Organizers allowed for longer stops at a couple of the larger gatherings than in the past, making sure attendees had the chance to meet and greet over barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade treats and root beer floats.

Saron Lutheran Church, with congregation members coordinating the festivities, kicked off the stops at 6 p.m., with additional locations visited (in order) including Mission Street, Matthew Court, Jonathon Court, Colombard Court, Chablis Drive, Alberto Lane and finally, Oakwood Drive, with the caravan members out and about until a little past 9 p.m.

Scott and Judy Orr served as organizers on Mission, with Avis Van Vliet and Loreli Woodford handling the Matthew Court event. Denise Schulz organized the Jonathon Court gathering, Karen Morgan on Colombard Court, Gerri Andrade on Chablis Drive, Emily Hobby on Alberto Lane and Sally Hale on Oakwood Drive.

Overseeing the event through the Escalon Police Department was Sara Cardoso, who said she was pleased with the turnout overall and felt the National Night Out ran smoothly. Fire and ambulance personnel had to abruptly leave at one point to handle a medical aid call, but there was plenty of time at the majority of stops for youngsters to tour the emergency vehicles, enjoy visiting with firefighters, EMTs and police officers, with City Council members and Public Works personnel also taking part in the festivities.

The goal of National Night Out – hosted across the county on the first Tuesday in August – is to get neighbors out of their homes and into the streets and cul-de-sacs, enjoying each other’s company, getting to know each other and solidifying their collective resolve to keep watch in the neighborhood effort to combat crime.

For officials, it gives a chance to meet residents in an informal setting and share information and concerns.