MT. VERNON — A community event that draws hundreds of community members will be held next month for the 14th consecutive year.
National Night Out, a program that began in the mid 1980’s to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 5
at Veterans Memorial Park.
The local event is sponsored and staffed by the Mt. Vernon Police Department.
The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“It’s one night out of the year police officers and members of the community get together away from a work environment and have a good time,” said Chris Deichman, assistant chief of police. “It’s open to the public. We invite everyone out for food, games and a lot of fun.”
Approximately 750 community members attended last year’s event, according to information provided by the MVPD.
Free hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, chips and soda will be provided inside the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building. Cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn will also be made available.
Outdoors, several activities will be available, including a Dunk-A-Cop, giant dual slide, Spanish Galleon Buccaneer and kids combo. Participants can also test their skills with inflate a hoops and mini sports panel.
Additionally, K-9 and bike patrol demonstrations will be given. Free blood pressure screenings and face painters will also be on hand, along with McGruff and Elroy the Elk.
The first National Night Out took place on Aug. 7 1984. That first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.
National Night Out now involves over 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days,” stated Matt Peskin, executive director of the National Association of Town Watch.