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Farmington, Rosemount police ready for neighborhood gatherings

No matter what you call it - National Night Out or Night to Unite - Tuesday, Aug. 6 promises to have plenty of block parties in Farmington and Rosemount.

That's the night Farmington holds its annual National Night Out event, and Rosemount holds the annual Night to Unite.

The programs are very similar. Both encourage residents to plan neighborhood parties or picnics. Both will bring police and firefighters to your neighborhood for visits. And both are designed to make neighborhoods safer.

"It's about creating a sense of security," Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist said. "Your neighbors have an investment in being a neighbor and a friend. You can live next door to somebody and never, ever meet them, but if we can get you to know your neighbor and know their habits, you'll know if you see something that doesn't seem quite right."


Farmington police and firefighters, as well as a few city council members, will make the rounds to parties as part of National Night Out.

Lindquist said the city usually receives about 30 to 35 registrations for parties. The list is divided between officers and firefighters, and so far, they've been able to make it to every party that's been registered.

The parties should be registered, though, so police and firefighters know where to go on National Night Out. A registration form is available on the city's website, The form has a deadline of Aug. 1 to register, but Lindquist said they will still take requests after that date.

"It's a great night to get out and meet the people. They usually have some good topics to discuss," Lindquist said.


Rosemount's Night to Unite is similar in that it brings police, firefighters and council members out to the neighborhoods, but the city's public works vehicles and staff also go out to visit, officer Beth Richtsmeier said.

Dakota County attorney James Backstrom will also travel around the city to promote a new program that aims to combat the exploitation of senior citizens.

Target Corporation is also sending representatives out with the police.

Usually, Rosemount has around 40 parties, Richtsmeier said. They, too, divide up the list and try get to every neighborhood party that is registered. Registration forms are available on the city of Rosemount's website,

This year, police will promote two themes when they visit the neighborhoods. For eight years, Richtsmeier said, they have collected food and paper products for the Family Resource Center in Rosemount, which is a project of 360 Communities. The local food shelf feeds somewhere around 500 individuals each month.

"It's kind of a give-back-to-the-community project," Richtsmeier said.

The other theme police will promote this year is the use of calling 9-1-1 for all calls, regardless of what kind of call it may be.

Both Farmington's National Night Out and Rosemount's Night to Unite events will run from 6 to 9 p.m.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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