By July 30, 2016 Read More →

CommunityView – Unity for Law Enforcement

Community View

By Maryann Spikes

Have you noticed the great diversity of local vigils in support of unity between law enforcement and the community? Is your porch light blue? Is there a strip of blue tape on the rear window of your vehicle? Blue paint stripe on your curb? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you know reason #1,000,450,000,793 why I love Modesto.

If it isn’t after dark on August 2nd (or later) when you read this, then run with this ModestoView RIGHT NOW and join to find out (or share) what’s happening in your neighborhood for National Night Out! That’s the night neighbors and law enforcement come together as partners in crime prevention, and a prime opportunity to show our appreciation and support.

If August 2nd has sadly passed without blessing the party with your presence, it’s not too late to send a thank-you email to your CSO (Community Service Officer), Area Commander, and Beat Sergeant, and ask them to forward it on to other officers who work your beat.

Don’t know who they are? Just call the Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) at 209-572-9636 – they’ll get you connected with them and other helpful City staff.

Whether you’ve discovered a party or NOTHING planned on, the CPU will help you start or join your Neighborhood Watch. You’ll want to pass out some flyers to your neighbors and shoot off an email to make that thank-you double as an invite. will send out a bunch of postcard invites to your neighbors, too.

If you plan your next party well enough in advance, MPD will even print your event flyers. Yep. They do that, too. They’re all about your neighborhood. Maybe your flyer can have a little bullet list of the top three neighborhood concerns? Crime Prevention will help you figure out the best City staff to invite to discuss and solve those issues.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t missed your neighborhood’s National Night Out party, consider making “THANK YOU MPD” signs they’ll see when they show up (poster contest, anyone?), taking a group pic with posters and officers, tagging MPD when sharing the pics via social media, and emailing the pics to the aforementioned officers (whether or not they could make it out).

Will you invite officers to eat with you if/when they visit your party, and express appreciation when you shake their hands? Will you ask how they are holding up and how you can support them? Will you listen and imagine how you or your family member or friend would approach the challenges faced in their shoes? Maybe you’ve already done all that. That’s why your porch light is blue, right? I guess that makes you #1,000,450,000,794.

For resources on how your neighbors can throw a great unity party with local law enforcement, scroll down to “National Night Out application and resources” at this link, which also (by the way) links to MPD District Maps with officer email addresses for that thank-you/invite:



About the Author:

Maryann Spikes holds an Associate of Arts degree in Humanities through Modesto Junior College, manages the Positive Modesto News page on Facebook, and enjoys coordinating Orchard Park Neighborhood Alliance under the umbrella of Modesto Neighborhoods Inc. Her favorite local coffee shop is the Queen Bean, and she calls Redeemer home. Maryann and her husband, Lee, are very proud of their young men, Ethan and David. Email Maryann at with CommunityView story ideas.