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Jersey City community comes together for national night

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Police Director Tawana Moody poses at the National Night Out in Audubon Park. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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An officer hands a burger to a child during the National Night Out. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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Children pose for a photo inside a fire engine. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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Police Director Moody wants to do more events in the future. Photo by Mark Koosau.


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Police Director Tawana Moody poses at the National Night Out in Audubon Park. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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An officer hands a burger to a child during the National Night Out. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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Children pose for a photo inside a fire engine. Photo by Mark Koosau.

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Police Director Moody wants to do more events in the future. Photo by Mark Koosau.


Audubon Park was one of four Jersey City parks that hosted the City’s National Night Out, a series of events hosted by the city and the Jersey City Police Department.

Overflowing with people, the August 3 event featured booths with community organizations, a free barbecue and a DJ. The vibe was laid back, with the police dressed in t-shirts, participants munching on hot dogs and popcorn, a bouncy house for the kids, and a huge play truck where the kids played Mortal Kombat or Just Dance. on large TV screens.

An officer hands a burger to a child during the National Night Out. Photo by Mark Koosau.

National Night Out events were created in 1984 to help police departments and communities build positive relationships. They returned for the first time since 2019.

“I feel like we are excited about tonight as it helps us continue what we are doing to bring the police and the community together,” Police Director Tawana Moody said.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, people who come together after being vaccinated have made a difference. “I love it,” said Melinda Estrada, who works with the New Jersey Youth Corps. “I love to see my people come together and see us continue to move forward and see a better future.”

Kids love fire trucks. Photo by Mark Koosau.

William Lance and his wife Tiffany Lance heard about the event through their son’s basketball clinic, where they were handing out flyers. “It’s something for [the kids] to do, ”said William Lance. “The kids are having fun because they’re kids, and it’s just good to see people giving back to the community.

Tuesday’s event was just one of many events that Moody says will improve relations with the police and the community. In February, she was appointed head of the department, becoming the first black woman to take the helm, as well as the first civilian leader.

Moody said it was great to learn the role from the other side. “I want to get out into the community and help see it from the community’s perspective as well,” she said. “Being a civilian has been great for me.”

Police Director Moody wants to do more events in the future. Photo by Mark Koosau.

After a year in which the police have been at the forefront, events like these are expected to happen more often, said William Lance.

“I agree,” Tiffany Lance said. “I think we need to have this more often so that the community can come out, it’s for the kids and less violence.”


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