About 40 residents of the Barcroft community got together Tuesday evening to celebrate National Night Out.
"We do it every year," said Pat Williamson, president of the Barcroft School and Civic League. "It's an opportunity for residents to meet socially with elected officials and police."
Del. Alfonso Lopez, Arlington County Police Capt. Brett Butler and Barcroft Elementary School Principal Miriam Hughey-Guy stopped by and mingled with residents outside of the Barcroft Community House, Williamson said.
Gary and Peg LeFebvre, who have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, say they make the National Night Out every year Barcroft has participated.
This year was extra special, as the couple plans to move to a retirement community.
"It's a good chance to say goodbye," Gary LeFebvre said.
"There's an awful lot I'm going to miss about this neighborhood, and about Arlington," Peg LeFebvre said. "There's been a lot of change. All you have to do is drive down Clarendon Boulevard or Wilson Boulevard — or, now, Columbia Pike. It's like a whole new world."
Joan Mulholland said she had a good time Tuesday night. Once upon a time, her children attended nursery school at the Barcroft Community House.
"You see old friends, eat yourself silly… and it didn't rain," she said.
Mulholland said Tuesday was probably her first National Night Out with her Barcroft neighbors, as she likes to be somewhere cooler this deep in the summer. But she was home, and she brought along her granddaughter, 11-year-old Addie Mulholland, who was visiting from Lehi, Utah.
"Everyone was having such a good time," Addie said.
Butler, the Arlington County Police Department's third district commander, said later in a phone interview that community policing fits nicely with events like National Night Out. Members of the community policing team go to neighborhood events, parades and schools. They talk with area civic associations about everything from racial profiling to elder fraud.
"It's nice. We get out a lot to meet with members of the community, and it's always nice to put a face behind a name," Butler said. "You have more of a vested interest in the community when you get to know the community. And part of our job is to make their lives easier."
Members of the department's community policing team perform all the duties as regular officers, but also try to look deeper into problems to figure out the underlying issues, he said.