Fairmount community takes ‘a bite out of crime’ on National Night Out

By Haley Harrison

The Fairmount Neighborhood Association held its annual National Night Out event Tuesday evening to build crime-fighting partnerships.

Fort Worth Police, Fire Departments and Fairmount residents attended to discuss issues and concerns in the neighborhood, like the string of car burglaries that occurred from August to mid-September. The chief of police and other public officials also made an appearance.

“[National Night Out] is for local residents to find out that our firefighters and police officers are people that they can talk to,” said Geri Cotten, Fairmount Association Director of Safety and captain of Fairmount Citizens on Patrol. She added that it is also a chance for residents to volunteer for organizations like Fairmount Citizens on Patrol and meet their neighbors.

Cotten said she had residents add what street they lived on to their name tags in the hopes of making connections between next-door neighbors.

“I think the world would be a lot better place if we just went next-door and said hello,” Cotten said.

The celebration was centered around chicken Fajitas and drinks, which were supplied by Fairmount Code Blue and the Fairmount Neighborhood Association Representatives. Fairmount residents also brought fruits and desserts, which put big smiles on the faces of the police officers and firefighters. A bounce house and a Fort Worth firetruck provided entertainment and interest to kids, during the night against crime.

The Fairmount Neighborhood Patrol Officer Sergio Guadarrama, a familiar face in the community, talked with many attendees.

“We do this job because we love helping people. We love interacting with people in the community,” Guadarrama said. “Police are people too, we live in neighborhoods too.” Guadarrama added that events like National Night Out are important in building relationships and trust with the people he helps protect.

Guadarrama said he is also active on the Fairmount National Historic District Facebook page. He uses it to inform the neighborhood about trends and crime updates, as well as receive crime information from residents.

“Fairmount is special,” Guadarrama said. “They are very active and very vocal as far as the crime and code.”

Guadarrma said the recent arrest of the car burglar couldn’t have happened without the community’s help.

“The reason he was identified and caught was because of security video footage that was sent to me by multiple residents,” said Guadarrama. “I’ve been pushing for people to get cameras to harden their houses. While it won’t prevent a burglary, it does help us identify these people.”

Guadarrma said he hopes this police-resident cooperation continues to help keep Fairmount safe.