Community Building 101 goal for Pleasant Hill NNO

Four-year old son Jaxson Lazure gives a thumbs up to his father, Kevin Schrupp, as mother Laura Lazure and Pleasant Hill Police Officer Jung look on. (Photos by David Scholz)

PLEASANT HILL, CA (Aug. 1, 2023) – Law enforcement is front and center on the National Night Out events across the country to start the month of August. But for those who put on the uniform, it’s more than that.

It’s about creating a united front with the citizenry they serve.

And, what better way of doing that than over hot dogs.

“It’s just old-fashioned people getting together for a BBQ on a summer evening,” said Pleasant Hill Police Chief Scott Vermillion with a smile in his voice as he scanned the crowd that turned out on the city hall’s backyard to meet each and representatives of the city’s police department.

Building partnerships

Building partnerships with the community is taking place, he noted, and in doing so camaraderie is being forged people get together.

“Events like this get us face to face,” Vermillion added.

What Vermillion spoke of is nothing new for the city’s first police chief, Jim Nunes, who back in 1970, assumed the helm and served for 17 years.

Now a wearer of many hats for the Rotary Club, including serving as its historian, Nunes, sitting back and enjoying the evening’s festivities, recalled similar NNOs that his department participated in during his tenure that helped build the strong community ties that exist today.

For Pleasant Hill parents like Laura Lazure and Kevin Schrupp, such gatherings are an opportunity for their four-year old son Jaxson Lazure to get up and close personal with the men and women in blue.

“I want him to talk and ask questions,” said Lazure, so her son knows they are here to help if he needs it.

Schrupp works in probation so they make a point to get out to “amazing’ events like this when they can.

David Scholz
David Scholz

David Scholz is back in journalism as a freelance writer and photographer after nearly two decades in education. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. More recently Scholz also worked in an editing, writing, and page layout role with the Rossmoor News.