On the evening of August 14, 2019 on a quiet street in the Cheswolde neighborhood of Baltimore City, dozens of emergency personnel and vehicles convened. It was not the scene of a large emergency response, but quite the contrary. Members of multiple law enforcement, fire, rescue and volunteer groups came to participate in the 5th annual Cheswolde Neighborhood Association’s National Night Out tradition highlighting and celebrating the first responder-community partnership. The family-oriented event attracted over 1,000 members of the community, who were able to interact with many of the unique units of the Baltimore City Police Department including the crime lab, mounted, K-9, motorcycle and bomb squad. There was also strong representation present from the Maryland Transit Administration Police, Baltimore Sherriff’s Office, Baltimore Environmental Police, Maryland State Police, Baltimore City Fire Department and our respected volunteer organizations, Hatzalah, Baltimore Shomrim Safety Patrol and Chaveirim.
Both Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt were in attendance as well as many high-ranking police command staff members. The attendees were able to enjoy music, food and family fun at absolutely no costs thanks to many local business and political leaders. Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, Chair of the Baltimore City Public Safety Committee and one of the primary sponsors of the event commented, “Each year this event draws more and more attendees and first responders. It is a testament to the close and supportive relationship the 5th District has with local law enforcement and the respect the men and women who put their lives on the line for the citizens of Baltimore City every day feel when they are in our neighborhoods. Despite the challenges that Baltimore City encounters on a regular basis, we are fortunate to be able to maintain a high level of safety and quality of life due to the critical work done by these agencies.
They are true heroes.” Nathan Willner, Chair of the event reflected, “Watching the way our children look at the uniform tells you all you need to know about the respect we have for those who serve others. When our community sees a person in uniform, they see superheroes. That is not something many of those who put on the uniform feel on a regular basis.
I could not be more proud of the large number of community members that took the time to show their support and to simply say “thank you” to the police officers, fire fighters, medics and local volunteers who show up and save lives on a regular basis. The Baltimore I know is the Baltimore I want the rest of the country to know.”