National Night Out serves as community outreach for Aztec police department

Hannah Grover
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Face painting, carnival rides and free food are some of the attractions of the annual National Night Out celebration, which will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Aztec.

National Night Out is an annual outreach event put on by the Aztec Police Department.

The goal is to "show a pairing between citizens and police," City Manager Joshua Ray said.

"National Night Out's probably the best event that we have here in Aztec," he said.

Because of the popularity of National Night Out, the City Commission rescheduled its bimonthly meeting so the commissioners could attend the event. Instead of meeting Tuesday evening, the commission will be meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Ray said that while the event is only two hours long, it provides a variety of "quality fun."

Mrs. San Juan County Summer Jakino-Whistle will be the guest speaker this year. Jakino-Whistle, who also serves as president of the Humane Society of the Four Corners and as a public relations liaison for the Rio del Sol Kiwanis Club, said she will be speaking about low-cost spay and neuter opportunities, as well as Kiwanis programs that collect clothes for children.

While she is an Aztec resident, Jakino-Whistle has never before participated in National Night Out, but she said she is looking forward to the event.

"I love an opportunity in the community for folks to be able to get out and have fun," she said.

One of the highlights is the donut-eating contest involving Aztec police officers and community members.

This is one event that Ray has been practicing for all year, and he said he thinks he has put on five pounds preparing for National Night Out.

"I'm definitely trying to win," he said. "At least to beat the chief."

What: National Night Out
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Minium Park, 200 N. Park Ave. in Aztec
Admission: Free

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652. and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.