Crime Prevention Coordinator Theodore James “TJ” Guidotti says the crime rate in Galt is 56 percent lower today than in recent years.
Furthermore, the area surrounding Meadowview Park in southwest Galt — once known for its violence, drugs and gang activity — is now one of the safest areas in Galt, Guidotti said.
“This neighborhood was garbage,” said Noni Garcia, a 17-year southwest Galt resident and a Galt Neighborhood Watch leader.
But things have changed. One of the primary reasons Galt residents say they now feel comfortable in the community is the continued growth of Neighborhood Watch.
Tonight, Galt’s Neighborhood Watch groups will host three community parties and join residents from Lodi, Lockeford and Thornton as they celebrate the annual National Night Out.
Held throughout the country on the second Tuesday of August each year, National Night Out helps residents meet their neighbors and find out about city, police and fire services available in their communities, Lodi Special Services Manager Jeanie Biskup said.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for it because it’s the one opportunity each year for people to get together with the neighbors and meet the local officers and firefighters,” she said.
Lodi is in its 24th year of participating in the national event, and there are at least 70 Neighborhood Watch groups meeting around town, Biskup said.
Every party will receive a visit from at least one police officer, firefighter or member of the city staff, such as the city manager or a code enforcement officer. Twelve police officers and 20 city staff members are volunteering their time to participate.
“It provides that partnership with the police department so people will call us if they need help or assistance,” she said.
Local National Night Out parties
There are 70 events planned throughout Lodi. Below is a list of reader-submitted celebrations for neighbors to attend:
- 2663 Alder Glen Drive: The ice cream social will start at 6 p.m.
- 841 Cardinal St.: Neighbors can play a Kubb Lawn game at the potluck that starts at 6 p.m. Bring your own sandwich, and odd addresses bring a salad for eight while even addresses bring a pie to share.
- Holly Drive, Lake Street, Pacific Avenue, Ayers Avenue, Cross Street: Neighbors should bring something to barbecue, their own drinks and a side to share for the party at Candy Cane Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- 532 S. Louie Ave.: Neighbors can bring a potluck dish, and it starts at 6 p.m.
- 841 Oak Knoll: Neighbors can enjoy the fourth annual ice cream social with cookies and drinks, and the party starts at 5:30 p.m.
- Intersection of Perlegos Way and Cayman Drive: The ninth annual potluck will include a bounce house and water slide and goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- 27 Pinewood Court: Neighbors can enjoy the cupcakes and ice cream dessert party, which runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- River Pointe: A taco truck will be parked in one of the subdivision’s cul-de-sacs from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring school supplies that will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Lodi in exchange for ice cream.
- 2214 W. Vine St.: The pizza party will start at 6 p.m.
- If you are planning an event and want a visit from Lodi police officers, contact Jeanie Biskup at 209-333-6725.
The city is planning three celebrations around town for neighbors to gather. The parties will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and each party will feature free hot dogs and other food, bounce houses, a martial arts demonstration, live music, and the McGruff and Scruff crime dogs.
Police officers, firefighters and Neighborhood Watch leaders will rotate to different parties.
- Galt Community Park, Walnut Avenue east of Carillion Boulevard. City leaders will be there from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.
- Meadowview Park, along Kost Road between Meadowview and Creekside Way. City leaders will be there from 6 to 6:40 p.m.
- SMUD Park, west of Lincoln Way between A and C streets. The party will be held in conjunction with the weekly Farmers Market held each Tuesday evening on Lincoln Way. City leaders will be there from 6:45 to 7:25 p.m.
- For more information, call Crime Prevention Coordinator Theodore James “TJ” Guidotti at 209-366-7000.
- Corner of Parkdale and Creekview in Bear Creek: Neighbors can participate in the fifth-annual event with a taste of some pulled pork sandwiches, and it goes from 6 to 9 p.m. San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore and County Supervisor Ken Vogel will speak at 6:30.
- Thornton will have a community celebration at the New Hope School, 26675 N. Sacramento Blvd., from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bring your comfortable chairs and enjoy the event sponsored by the Thornton Community Center. For more information, call to 209-794-2144.