PATERSON, NJ - Paterson residents were out by the thousands Tuesday night reminding those that continue to bring violence to the city that the streets belong to the community.
Dozens of celebrations of National Night Out, “a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live,” were held across the city.
Led by City Council President Maritza Davila, a cavalcade of elected officials and members of the Paterson Police Department travelled throughout the wards, greeted by barbecues, live music, DJs, facepainting, a movie, and more.
Stopping at Barbour Park, not too long ago a haven for drug use and other criminal activity, now transformed into a park worthy of visits from Paterson families, Davila commended the volunteers from Paterson Cares that have put in countless hours of effort and "put it back on the map in a positive way."
Also maintaining a strong precesnce at events were members of the Paterson Fire Department who manned grills serving up countless hot dogs and hamburgers, showed off their lifesaving apparatus and equipment, and distributed replica fire helmets to many happy children.
Residents from the First Ward to the Sixth Ward were in agreement that the festivities, and efforts to make Paterson safer, are all about the children. At Cianci Park where Save the Village hosted more than 100 residents, and also helped provide free health screenings, Cherise Piphin said that "the sole purpose tonight is for the babies, so that they can play and feel safe."
"It's nice to see everyone get together, to create a positive image of Paterson for our kids," Johnny Laborde, a lifelong resident of the Sixth Ward said at a gathering hosted by Councilman Al Abdelaziz.
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