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Turlock wins award for National Night Out
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The National Night Out festivities in Turlock in 2014, featured fun community events for all ages, including a watermelon eating contest held at Columbia Park. - photo by Journal file photo

The National Night Out celebration in Turlock earned the Turlock Police Department a second place ranking in California and 20th in the nation.

Turlock was competing in the National Association Town Watch category against other cities with populations between 50,000 to 99,000. In the category of cities with populations between 100,000 to 299,000, the Modesto Police Department captured first place in the state and fifth in the nation for their National Night Out celebrations.

Police coordinators in Turlock and Modesto spent months preparing for the big day. A combined total of 163 parties were hosted in neighborhoods where thousands gathered with law enforcement and city personnel. During the 3-hour event, groups were encouraged to get to know their neighbors, strengthen neighborhood spirit and build stronger community-police partnerships.

National Night Out is another tool both agencies use to get residents in their cites together in an ongoing effort to heighten crime prevention awareness and to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Shortly after the event, coordinators submitted post project reports to the NATW organization to be considered as honorees in the national awards program. Staff reviewed the submissions and notified the agencies of their ranking earlier this week. Plaques will be presented to both agencies at a later date.

“I am very proud of our employees who work so hard on this annual event. We are also very grateful of our community who really make this event special each year,” said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson.