With an onslaught of pouring rain Tuesday evening, many residents of Harker Heights had to stop their annual National Night Out block parties early.

However, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of some residents, who continued their festivities into the evening including Jimmy Tittle, sister Barbara Thompson, and mother Barbara Tittle.

“I love the neighborhood,” Mr. Tittle said, “I’ve lived here for forty years and I love the community. I just want to make sure that everything in the community is going good.”

About 100 people attended the Tittles’ block party at 302 Mary Jo Drive in Harker Heights, including a visit from the police department and Mayor Spencer Smith.

Tittle was a block captain of his neighborhood for 18 years and has been hosting National Night Out for 21 years.

“The police department and me, we cannot stop all the crime that goes on in this city,” Tittle continued. “But we can take a bite out of crime if we all work together. If we get the community working together with the police department then we can all do it together.

For his efforts assisting the police department and his community, Tittle was awarded a third proclamation from Mayor Smith. He was awarded two from former Mayor Mary Gauer in 1999 and 2002.

For Jennifer Hemingway, office assistant of Big Oaks Estates, this was the second year of hosting National Night Out.

“This event is a way of showing the Police Department that we support them and we love the fact that they have a positive influence on our community,” she said. “It’s also a way for the Police Department to show that they also support the members of the community. We come together and agree that we don’t want crime or drugs, we want to have fun and a nice place to live.

About 50 residents attended the festivities at Big Oaks Estates.

The Harker Heights Police Department also participated in National Night Out, attending eight parties throughout the city.

At each of the eight parties, Council member Jackeline Soriano Fountain, accompanied by Chief Michael Gentry, City Manager David Mitchell and city staff members, read and presented a city proclamation to the party hosts.

Children and family members were able to meet with McGruff the Crime Dog, the Police Department’s mascot, as well as members of the police force.

Partner associates from Target and Sam’s Club were represented as well as children and guardians of members of the Bell County Autism Intervention Team (BAIT) program.

The organizations and residents who hosted National Night Out events in Harker Heights included:

The Big Oaks Mobile Home Community at 521 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

The Garden of Gethsemane C.O.G.I.C at 111 Cox Drive.

The ASYMCA Teen Program Center at 100 Beeline Lane

Indian Trail Estates at 1110 Indian Trail

302 S. Mary Jo Drive

1423 Tejas Trail

3909 Hickory View

3914 Bella Vista Loop

4437 Flint Oak Drive

1715 Iron Jacket Trail

2529 Boxwood Drive

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