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Neighbors, police come together for National Night Out

Woodmore Oaks Neighborhood Watch President Tom Digiacomo talks to an officer during National Night Out on Aug. 1, 2023. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
For more than three decades, the Woodmore Oaks Neighborhood Watch group on the border of Citrus Heights and Orangevale has been hosting its annual National Night Out event as a way to build community.

“We’re pretty much the grandfather of everything, and it’s just been awesome the way it’s built up,” watch group president Tom DiGiacomo said, referring to the 33 years the event has been celebrated in his neighborhood. “I’m very happy with the turnout and I’m just happy the neighbors are coming out and meeting neighbors. That’s what it’s all about. And that’s where my heart is.”

Held at the 7-Eleven at 6840 Woodmore Oaks Dr., the event drew neighbors from both Citrus Heights and Orangevale. The Casa Roble High School football team and cheerleaders were on hand along with the school’s ROTC cadets. DiGiacomo also arranged for a bounce house and food and drinks, and Citrus Heights Police also attended the event.

The largest event was at C-Bar-C park where Citrus Heights Area Seven, Eight, and Nine (CHASEN) hosted the Citrus Heights Marching Band, police officers, and provided a barbecue meal. Newly elected CHASEN President Bill Shirley said board members and neighbors worked together to organize the event.

The event was Shirley’s first day as president and he said National Night Out is important for residents to get to know local law enforcement and first responders.

“I think it’s an opportunity to try to help people,” Shirley said. “It’s an opportunity to pay tribute to those who are putting their lives on the line.”

Citrus Heights Police Lt. Ken Lewis said National Night Out gives him and other officers a chance to interact with the community. Police said there were 10 different events registered across the city on August 1.

“I think it brings everybody together,” Lewis said. “You could ask us any questions, we can talk, not like when we’re going out to different calls for service. It gives everybody the same space to talk.”

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