Updated: 08/05/2014 10:24 PM
Created: 08/05/2014 9:28 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough
It's a night meant for getting out and getting to know your neighbor, and the police officers who serve you.
At the same time, Mendota Heights is marking the passing of slain Officer Scott Patrick.
On Tuesday night, the community turned National Night Out into something more personal. The city council meeting intentionally started later than normal. It began only after the visitation for Officer Patrick ended.
There was a simple, yet powerful show of support for Officer Patrick at the meeting, a moment of silence was held. That followed a more bustling, but no less powerful display at the fire house.
Officers, deputies and firefighters boarded fire trucks and set out to turn the city's 15 National Night Out block parties into memorials, and a celebration of the city Patrick served for 19 years.
Conversation and compassion were shared.
"This is a great impetus to share our lives with one another, and become a more close knit neighborhood," said Robin Ehrlich, a Mendota Heights block party organizer.
In nearby St. Paul at Joseph's Restaurant, it's a night to remember and raise money for Officer Patrick's wife and two teenage daughters.
"We want to do something for this family let them know we love and care about them," said Sgt. Dave Mueller with the St. Paul Police Department.
For every dollar donated, Affinity Credit Union promised to match.
At TK's Coffee Shop in Lilydale, sentimental stickers are being sold. They show Officer Patrick's badge wrapped in blue ribbon marking the date of his death.
West St. Paul resident Amy Ball bought some. "Just so the community doesn't forget we're thankful for everything the officers do for us," she said.
Tony Koury, who owns the coffee shop, says Patrick was a frequent customer and friend, "it's a tough job, we found out how tough it was in the last two weeks or so."
While we were out, we also visited the St. Paul Police Departments' Western District office. That's where the memorial bell is kept. It'll be taken to the service Wednesday and will ring 22 times, once for each year Patrick served in Mendota Heights and Shakopee.