REFUGIO - The second annual National Night Out at Heritage Park was a success, according to Police Chief Enrique Diaz, who directed the event.

Held Tuesday evening, Oct. 1, the event had 600-plus people enjoy the evening, featuring food, drinks, a kid play zone, music, informative first responder displays and an air ambulance was parked on site.

In addition, state Rep. Geanie Morrison was in attendance, having a great time with Star Wars characters in full costume and Department of Public Safety troopers.

“She is a very large supporter of us,” Diaz said of Morrison.

Diaz said nowadays the “perception (of police officers) seems to be turning a different direction.”

He lamented that a lot of kids are scared of police officers.

“Back when, it was not rare to have a small child tell his or her parents, ‘I want to be a police officer when I grow up.’ This event helps to show kids police officers are friends,” Diaz said.

“Events like this get people together and build our partnerships,” he said.

“This was a big success, having all these kids not being afraid of the police,” Diaz said.

Next year he said the National Night Out event will be held on a weekend so more people would be able to attend.

But reflecting on this year’s event, he said, “It was completely awesome.”

Tim Delaney is the Refugio editor at the  Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-526-2397, or at refugio@mySouTex.com.