Naperville neighborhoods celebrate National Night Out

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On Tuesday, more than 45 Naperville neighborhoods held celebrations for National Night Out. NCTV17 spoke with event organizers from the Brookdale subdivision, Mayor Scott Wehrli, and Chief of Police Jason Arres.

Food trucks, games & more

Over 125 Brookdale residents enjoyed food trucks, games, activities, and more at their subdivision’s National Night Out celebration.

“We want everyone to come together and have a great time,” said Megan Happ, National Night Out coordinator for the Brookdale Neighborhood Association. “This is our chance for neighbors to interact with neighbors, friends, to see each other, and really see officials of the community as well.”

Vice President of the Brookdale Neighborhood Association Barbara Sullivan was excited for residents to meet police officers and reconnect with friends in the neighborhood.

“It’s all about the smiles, isn’t it?” said Sullivan. “It’s just so great to walk by or come here and see everyone happy. Everyone enjoys this and that’s what we really want.”

Wehrli’s first National Night Out as mayor

Monday and Tuesday marked Scott Wehrli’s first National Night Out as Naperville mayor.

The lifelong Naperville resident spent Monday night as a park district police officer at the Fry Family YMCA event but was at several different celebrations around the city with Naperville Chief of Police Jason Arres on Tuesday. The pair began their city-wide tour at the Brookdale’s event. 

“Everyone has always looked at Naperville, when they come to this community they (say) how it feels like a small town, even though there are 150,000 residents here,” said Wehrli. “We want that to continue.”

Wehrli emphasized the importance of an event like National Night Out to help locals build a sense of camaraderie with police officers.

“(We) try to promote those positive relationships with our police department because they are here to help,” said Wehrli. “They get the calls whether they are at somebody’s worst moment, or at one of the most urgent times of their life where they need some sort of other assistance. That’s what they’re there for, and they don’t want (you) to be afraid of them.”

Chief Arres connects with Naperville

The chief enjoyed connecting with Naperville children who were eager to learn more about Naperville police officers.

“The message I always give to kids is if you ever lose your mom or dad or you need help, run to this uniform and we will protect you,” said Arres. “It’s so important for them to hear that from us and identify with us, that we’re here to take care of them in addition to their parents.”

Arres gave a message for all of Naperville to remember as the summer begins to wind down.

“Continue to take care of each other, continue to take care of your community, and stay safe in everything you do, but have fun doing it,” said Arres.

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