The Palmhurst community as well as surrounding cities showed up the third annual Palmhurst Police Night Out.
The event is part of National Night Out, where police departments of each city host events for the community as an opportunity for them to meet members of the department.
“The reason we’re here today is just to bring the community together to let them know that the police department is here to help them, give school supplies and just have a good time,” Palmhurst Chief Michael Vela said.
National Night Out or America’s Night Out Against Crime began in 1984 in an effort to promote police/community partnerships and crime prevention activities. The program takes place on the first Tuesday of August, but in Texas it is the first Tuesday of October.
The Palmhurst department uses the night out to provide school supplies for students. Some of the funds or supplies are donated from participating businesses, but the department also uses its funds to hand out the materials.
One of the participating companies was the Palmhurst H-E-B that opened in November 2013. H-E-B already promotes education on its own, and establishes programs where they give away school supplies, such as with their Read Three program. Read Three encourages students to read three books a week, in exchange HEB will give them free pencils, bookmakers and sling backpacks.
“We decided it’s a great way to give back to the community,” said Abraham Moreno, the service administrator for the Palmhurst H-E-B. “H-E-B is all about giving back to the community. So what better way to assist them and represent H-E-B in a positive way.”
Although this is Palmhurst’s third year, Vela said not a whole lot has changed with the even itself, besides the number of vendors and attendees growing.
“We always have the same people that come over and participate,” Vela said. “Even though they’re not from our city, we still support them regardless of where we are. There are no boundaries.”
The department itself has also grown since its foundation in 2005. Initially the station had four officers and one chief. Today there are 13 officers, the chief, five communications representatives and one administrator.
“We couldn’t’ stay small. The community grows, crime grows as well, but fortunately for us crime is very low,” the chief said. “In nine years, we’ve come a long way and we’re still growing.”