Leo Peña Placita Park opens to hundreds with a successful National Night Out

One month after inclimate weather caused its postponement, the skies were clear, the community was out and everybody was having a good time last Thursday at Mission Crime Stoppers National Night Out.

Earlier in the day, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the newly renovated Leo Peña Placita Park, and hours later, the same park was filled with families and local law enforcement agencies enjoying live music, festival rides for the kids and food vendors who delivered the South Texas taste.

20181005 2018NationalNightOut“Working together for a safer community” was the theme of the event and everybody truly was as organizations from different high schools to law enforcement agencies to small businesses were on hand to interact and give back to the community.

Mission Mayor Armando O’cana opened the ceremony by thanking the local law enforcement agencies on hand for their commitment to keeping the city safe.

“I do want to thank each and every law enforcement officer and first responders, thank you for your service,” said Mayor O’cana. “Thank you for taking the time to serve your community. I know a lot of you are not from the city of Mission, but I know if we call you, you’ll be there to serve our community.”

Officer Mike Rosales, a seven-year veteran of the Mission Police Department, said it’s nice to see all the different people, from fellow law enforcement to community members to small businesses, all celebrate National Night Out.

“It’s good to see all the agencies and meet new people,” Rosales said. “You get new connections and it makes it easier to work together. It’s neat to see a bunch of restaurants, small business that come out. That’s the good thing to see, all the community members themselves.”

One group who was out giving back to the community were the people from Enlightened Barber Academy. Joel Garcia, the Lead Custodial Engineer and barber instructor brought his students to provide free haircuts to anybody looking for a fresh cut.

Garcia, who grew up in Mission and calls Leo Peña Placita Park his old stomping grounds, said it feels amazing to be able to give back to the city that raised him.

“We’re here giving back to the city of Mission, because I’m from Mission, so I want to give back to the community that raised me,” he said. “I actually grew up a couple blocks from here, that’s why I brought all my students, so that way they can provide free haircuts for the community, because it’s a good thing to give back. By giving back, we grow, we learn and we get to network with other people from all walks of life. They get a free haircut, they get the free practice, it’s a win-win all around.”

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