Last year, National Night Out on Castro Street was one of the first times since the pandemic that the community was able to come together in person, Mountain View Police Chief Chris Hsiung told the Voice. So this year's event on Aug. 2 held a special significance.
"It's almost symbolic to remember that this was one of the first events last year that we all got to come out of our rooms and interact," Hsiung said of the annual event, which aims to enhance the relationship between the community and law enforcement. "We've been doing it for decades, but I think this is a little bit special."
The 300 block of Castro Street was packed Tuesday night. Kids squealed as they drew on the asphalt with chalk and licked free ice creams. Parents said "Cheese!" as their children posed on MVPD motorcycles, beaming under child-sized Mountain View Fire Department helmets.
"National Night Out is an opportunity for us to be present in the community, for them to come out and ask us questions," said Heidi Imobersteg, Mountain View Fire Department's public education and fire safety specialist. "Part of the program that we do in the schools is we go out and we talk to the kids about if there's a fire, and it's dark and scary, we don't want them to hide under the bed, we want them to scream for help and go to the firefighters."
"It's really important," she continued, "because there's a whole generation of kids that haven't been exposed to what we do because they've been at home."
Here are a few highlights from the night: