Photo by Chris Frost Deputy Chief Jason Benites discusses a neighborhood with an Oxnard resident.
Thursday, August 9, 2018

By Chris Frost

chris@tricountysentry.com

 

OXNARD—It was neighbor meeting neighbor Aug. 7, as the 35th Annual National Night Out was celebrated across Oxnard and had lots of food, fun, and camaraderie.

The event at Via Marina Park had a delicious potluck dinner and had the feel of an old-fashioned block party.

Kevin Janeway has lived in Oxnard since 2016 and he wanted to be involved.

“I had concerns, and other people were having concerns about the quality of life in the neighborhood,” he said. “I found myself getting on the complaining side of things, and I thought National Night Out is a proactive solution and it sounded like my cup of tea.”

He is from Ohio and lived in Orange County in the 1980’s, and he said back then, people were more neighborly.

“As society changed, I noticed a lot of the neighborhoods I lived in became more isolated,” he said. “When I found out about this event and saw the opportunity to break down those walls.”

Officer Mike Hearst heard about the event and wanted to attend.

“I work the area, and I come to the (neighborhood) meetings, so I came by,” he said.

The event is an opportunity to level the playing field, he said, and get great feedback.

“We explain certain things, why we do certain things and how they can report things more efficiently,” he said. “Anytime we interact with the community, great things happen.”

He planned to enjoy the potluck.

“I already ate some, but I can’t pass up these things,” he said.

Sharon Wagner was having a great time with her neighbors.

“I get to meet our officers, and I get to meet other people from my neighborhood,” she said. “I don’t usually get out to meet my neighbors, so this is good, and it’s good to see that people want to keep the neighborhood safe.”

Neighborhood Council President Kathryn King was enjoying the evening with her dog Ronin.

“I am glad this event is happening,” she said.