TULALIP — The Tulalip police force was proud to put on its first Night Out Against Crime independent of the Marysville police at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club.
The event supplied barbecued goods and other festivities along with locals meeting and greeting the police and fire staff of Tulalip.
“We want the community to see us in a different light,” patrol Cmdr. Sherman Pruitt said.
But Pruitt especially wants that light to shine on the youth.
“The children are our future,” he said. “Making a difference in their life will make a difference in the community.”
The ultimate goal of the event is to educate the community on services and that people can go to the police whenever trouble arises, Pruitt said.
“We want people to say, ‘Wow we do have these services available,’ or ‘oh I didn’t know we had this,” Pruitt said. “People are still not aware.”
With that, Pruitt hopes the event will open the community’s eyes on the services available to those struggling with addiction and “educating people on what drugs are and how they affect you and your family.”
Tulalip police look to expand its services, like adding Emphasis Direct Patrol teams that patrol specific areas looking for speeding, homeless or suspicious activities. They hope to implement that by the end of the year and add eight more officers.
Pruitt is pleased to see veteran officers on the force, and also people enlisting who had experience working in the Tulalip community.
Though described as “self-sustained,” Tulalip police are still in conjunction with Marysville police and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office in dealing with issues.
“It’s always good to reach out to other resources we may need,” Pruitt said.
But with the Tulalip police expanding, they hope to crack down on serious issues like drugs, Pruitt said.
“It’s something we’ve been dealing with throughout the nation,” Pruitt said. “But we’re like family here so it affects us more. We have a small community.”
Tulalip residents were pleased to see the Night Out.
“I honestly think it’s really good,” Andrew Enick said. “It engages our community and gets them to know them, especially the new officers.
“I just hope they do the best they can to keep our community safe,” he added. “I hope they will protect our children.”
Another resident, Robert Higgenbotham, also saw the communal benefits of the Night Out.
“It’s good to see them [Tulalip police] on the business side of things,” Higgenbotham said. “It brings awareness for the community and allows us to come together.”