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Editorial: Great turnout for National Night Out

This year’s annual National Night Out celebration on Aug. 2 turned out to be a pretty good one. According to an update from the city, Hastings had 20 community parties on its official list, all of which got visits from local law enforcement, emergency responders and elected officials. Of those 20 parties, seven were brand new this year.

“NNO is designed to build partnerships, strengthen relationships between neighbors and law enforcement, and raise crime prevention awareness,” the city’s update reads.

The only way to do that is to participate in events like National Night Out. But it doesn’t have to happen just once a year. The city hosts a few similar events, like the fire department’s annual open house and booya, and the police department’s annual Police Week event. They’re great opportunities to meet the men and women who might have to save your life someday.

The police support event held on the Highway 61 bridge a couple weeks ago was another encouraging example, with so many people voluntarily standing up to thank and appreciate officers in a time when police across the nation are facing all kinds of new challenges.

We encourage residents here to think beyond official, organized events. Our local emergency responders and law enforcement can be seen all around the city on any given day. Give them a wave or say “hi” the next time you see them. We’re certain that they won’t bite.

Our hometown heroes are just as human as the rest of us, with families and passions of their own that tend to be hidden by the uniforms they wear. Let’s not forget that.