Pleasanton police officers will take to the streets in two weeks for a different type of mission: socialization.
About 20 Pleasanton Police Department officers will take part in the annual National Night Out, where officers across the country will relax at block parties with members of neighborhood watches. The event is a crime and drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
"Neighborhood watch is an important element in crime prevention. They are the eyes and ears of the city," said PPD officer Archie Chu.
National Night Out will be on Aug. 4, and Pleasanton Police has participated for 12 years. Residents who would like to have an officer stop by their party, barbecue, potluck or other festivity should fill out an application. Applications for a National Night Out visit area available at www.pleasantonpd.org, at the front lobby of the department on Bernal Avenue or can be obtained by calling Officer Chu at 931-5222 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications for a visit from a PPD officer are due by July 31.
He said officers get a chance to get to know residents one-on-one and to talk with kids in a relaxed environment. It helps residents "get to know officers as people, not just uniforms," Chu said.
He said officers make a point to interact with children and carry around stickers and other goodies for them during the event.
"Anytime we can have interactions with kids in more of a social setting, it's a good way to reach out," he said, "and for them to get a sense that we're there to take care of them and keep them safe."