Oakland neighborhoods host dozens of National Night Out block parties

Dozens of neighborhoods across Oakland Tuesday night hosted community events during the National Night Out, all hoping to raise awareness for community safety. 

The event started in the 1970s as a way to better community and police relations and as a way to promote public safety. During Tuesday night's event in Oakland, safety was a common theme.

"I want to feel safe walking my dog," said Bhoomi Brahmbhatt. "I live in Jack London Square and I want to feel safe walking at night, but I don’t."

Brahmbhatt visited her neighborhood block party to get to know her neighbors.

"I want to interact with them," she said. "It gives a better sense of community."

It was the same message in and around the Trestle Glen neighborhood.

"We’re mobilizing, trying to make our community safer," said Tim Gardener.

The Trestle Glen neighborhood has seen its fair share of crime, including the recent robbing of a neighborhood nanny that resulted with a toddler being hit with gunfire shrapnel.

"We’re here to amplify our voices," said Gardner. "It’s not about telling you what to believe. It’s giving you a chance to have your voice have impact by connecting with others, and focusing on doing things that matter to the city. My hope is that people will do something, even if it’s incredibly small, but something in their neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be big, show up!

In downtown Oakland, volunteers and police officers showed up at the Annual "OPD CommUNITY Tour and Backpack Giveaway."

Officers provided free food, beverages, backpacks, and family activities.

"This is that one time to have that eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand contact," said Oakland Police spokesperson Paul Chambers. "It’s great to see smiles on kids’ faces, see their parents faces and showing them that police come to help them as they’re supposed to do."

Also contributing to the event was barber Benjamin Colbert with Master Barbers.

"It’s great to interact with these kids, give them haircuts and just give back," he said. "It’s the connection. It’s bridging the gap. It’s to see police involvement with the community, everybody is happy. It’s a great night out."

City of Oakland staff, Oakland Fire Department and Police Department personnel and elected officials were out roaming the neighborhoods visiting as many parties as possible.

The one voice missing from Oakland's National Night Out was mayor Shang Thao. 

City officials said she was overseas in Vietnam as part of a lead trade mission. 

The goal of the trip according to the city is to "increase business relationships between California and Vietnam and to facilitate opportunities for expanded trade with the Port of Oakland and other west coast ports.