St. CLOUD -- If you live in St. Cloud, the chances are high that your neighborhood threw a party on Tuesday night.

The 36th Annual National Night Out event, sponsored locally by the St. Cloud Police Department, boasted 63 separate neighborhood gatherings with food, crafts, music, games ... and a main goal of developing stronger and more trusting relationships between citizens and local law enforcement.

 

For Patti Goke, a resident of the 900 block of Longview Drive in southeast St. Cloud, her relationships with neighbors and local police have made all the difference in her daily life.

Goke, who hosted her block's gathering, says her quiet neighborhood's strong bond was forged in fire over several years as a result of a problematic residence a few houses away from hers.

By getting to know her neighbors, working with them to keep track of incidents, and regularly reporting trouble to law enforcement and city officials, Goke says the problem was resolved last year.

Now, she says the neighborhood feels safe, and she’s closer to her neighbors than ever before.

You know, they talk about the blessing and the curse. This brought the neighborhood together. Through that, we reached out to the mayor, to the police department, and they all came through and helped.

The block now operates an active neighborhood watch group. Goke says National Night Out has been a great opportunity to spend time with her neighbors, share stories and appreciate what they can accomplish together.

We got to know one another. And now we come here and we enjoy one another.

National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, estimates over 38 million people participated in 2019.

WJON visited a handful of parties throughout St. Cloud. Check out the gallery below.