For the first time ever, the UTMB Police Department hosted a large-scale National Night Out event on UTMB’s Galveston Campus.
The festivities, which took place during the evening of Oct. 1 on the Moody Medical Library Plaza, included games, giveaways, food and even the debut performance of Mister Meanor, the UTMB Police Band.
Organized by UTMB’s Crime Prevention Unit, the recent event gave the local community a chance to mingle with members of law enforcement under positive circumstances, which is the very mission of the annual, nationwide initiative that encourages similar events be hosted in communities and neighborhoods across the country.
“National Night Out is important because it provides an opportunity for the community that we serve as peace officers to see us with our hair down,” says UTMB Police Officer Curtis Dorsey. “It builds partnerships and rapport amongst both groups and allows the bridge of understanding to take place.”
Dorsey, who helped lead the charge in coordinating this year’s event, didn’t initially plan on having a full band make an appearance, but knew he wanted to have some type of musical entertainment for attendees to enjoy.
“I sent an email to the department and asked for those with musical talents to respond in hopes that we could have them perform at the event,” said Dorsey. “It was Police Chief Kenith Adcox who took it a step further and requested that a band be formed.”
Eager to help and participate, engineering technician Todd Vann was one of the individuals who answered that call and he’s now Mister Meanor’s lead guitar player, playing alongside five bandmates that include Sr. Detective Greg Gaona, Sgt. Susan Gibbs, Sgt. Shawn Carr, Dispatcher Randy Barnett and Public Safety Officer Abraham Lima.
“I was so excited to see what talents were hidden within our staff,” said Vann. “This was a fantastic community outreach opportunity for the UTMB Police Department.”
Looking ahead, Dorsey, who credits local sponsors, volunteers and members of the UTMB Police Department for making the recent event possible, is hopeful they’ll be able to do even more next year.
“The plan is to gather enough feedback from this event to assess what will be needed to expand to the other campuses in the future,” says Dorsey.