National Night Out celebrating 30 years in Farmington

Event a good chance to get to know neighbors

The city of Farmington will be celebrating 30 years of participating in the National Night Out, an annual get-to-know-your neighbors celebration sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch on Tuesday evening.
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The police and fire departments usually attend between 25 and 30 parties from about 6-9 p.m. every year in Farmington.

National Night Out is a good chance to get to know neighbors and perhaps build a safer community, according to Farmington police Chief Brian Lindquist.

“When I grew up in rural Minnesota, I knew all my neighbors,” Lindquist said. “Today we’re high speed, low drag. We live on our smartphones and computers. We get up, go to work, take kids to a myriad of activities, come home, watch some TV, and go to bed.

“If I’m dumb enough to say on Facebook I’m going on vacation and someone pulls up in a white van and cleans out my house, my neighbor might think I’m getting new carpet installed. I’ve done a great injustice to myself by not knowing my neighbors.

“If you get to know your neighbors, they’re going to watch out for you, and you will watch out for them.”

The benefit of having the police attend gives the community and the department a chance to talk.

“Parents will ask questions that they might think are wasting our time or foolish, and say: ‘I didn’t want to bother you,’ ” Lindquist said. “A lot of time I say: ‘You probably should have bothered us.’ People should understand they can call us for anything and they’re not wasting our time. We’re a response agency. We can’t be everywhere.”

There are also a number of National Night Out events that happen during the weekend.

“Many times neighbors can’t get together on that night so they find another time that works,” Lindquist said.

To request a police officer or firefighter visit www.ci.farmington.mn.us, or call 651-280-6700.

The Police Department also has information available on how to start a block party including door hangers and fliers for block party recruitment.

More information can also be found at www.natw.org.

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