Night Out brings Katy neighbors together
Children wore plastic firefighter helmets, carried twisted balloons and sported face paintings as part of Tuesday Night Out activities at Katy City Park.
Rain before and during the event muddied grass around the covered pavilion, which provided shelter for groups from Katy Christian Ministries and Krause Children’s Center to the Critical Intervention Team and public safety agencies.
“Get out and meet your neighbors is the whole theory behind Night Out,” said Tim Tyler, Katy Police Department assistant police chief. “Once you get to know your neighbors, you know who’s not supposed to be there.”
“It brings the community together,” said Katy PD Patrol Lt. Howard Briner of Night Out. “It introduces people to the services available.”
In addition to tables manned by volunteers providing public safety information, visitors could check out the tables offering hot dogs, popcorn and beverages and Curly’s balloon twists. The line remained long for Snow Cones served in a variety of colors keeping Robert Nugent, a member of the Katy Police Department’s first Citizen’s Police Academy class, busy. Other members of the class also volunteered for the event, including Ward A Councilwoman Janet Corte, who as a face painter applied designs requested by children who came to her table.
Cooper Goedecker, 2½, wore his fire helmet and T-shirt while waving his balloon. “He likes the fire truck,” said his mother Amanda Goedecker, whose husband, Greg, is the city of Katy’s new emergency management coordinator. “We came out to support everyone and to look around,” said Amanda, who teaches junior high in the Katy Independent School District.
Members of the Katy Parks and Recreation Department, including Richie Kainer and Jose Amantine, served hot dogs. Behind them, Vince Morille manned the grill. It’s a familiar position for him, having been a longtime cook at the Katy Rice Harvest Festival as a member of the Katy Elks Lodge. But he’s new to Night Out as a member of the Citizen’s Police Academy class. By 6 p.m., he figured more than 300 hot dogs had been grilled at Night Out, which started an hour earlier. He didn’t seem worried about running out of food, explaining he started with 1,000 hot dogs for the event.