The free hot dogs were gone and the coolers were empty. That’s one way of judging that a party was a success.

The free hot dogs were gone and the coolers were empty. That’s one way of judging that a party was a success.
It was a big turn out Thursday night at McCoy Park when residents attended one of four citywide block parties that happened simultaneously in Independence.
The Independence police and parks and recreation departments sponsored the event that allowed people to see demonstrations from the K-9 dogs and get an upclose look at a bomb-handling robot.
Of course, the party featured free hot dogs, chips and drinks. Volunteers who handed out the free food actually ran out of hot dogs and had to rush to the grocery store. Only cookies were left over.
The purpose of the event was to allow neighbors in each district to better know their neighbors in order to deter crime. The other three districts in the city also held a block party.
 Rixie Adams quoted a police officer who told her at the event that “this (block party) is the best way to get know your neighbors. You get to know each other and see their faces. And then you get to care about them.”
The block party brings back memories of a time when her neighborhood used to hold block parties.
“We were much more neighborly,” Adams said, who lives on the 800 block of North Union Avenue. “I think that’s gone away. This is fun to see people come out.”
Part of the reason why is the advent of technology like texts, e-mails and chats that has reduced face-to-face interaction.
She saw her neighbor Dustin Barker, and his family, at the block party.
“It’s good to know some of the neighbors,” Barker said.
She’s part of the neighborhood watch group called the Union Watchers.
Ed Adams, Rixie’s husband, said the neighborhood has some crime, small stuff like vandalism but nothing major. He said the block watch urges people to turn on their porch lights, a key aspect officials stress during the National Night Out Against Crime that will be held in cities across America on Tuesday.
“This is the best part of living here in Independence,” Christina Lawrence said. “They have so many family events going on and educational events that focus on crime prevention. It makes me feel safe here.”