National Night Out Set for Tuesday
On Tuesday Aug. 2 the City of New Britain will once again be hosting National Night Out.
There will be two simultaneous venues for National Night Out events at Willow Street Park and Walnut Hill Park. There will be games, prizes, police demonstrations, and a cook out at each location. It will be starting at 5 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m.
“We are out there reaffirming our relationships with the community and providing a fun summer activity,” said Police Chief James Wardwell. “The New Britain Police Department is first and foremost into community relationships. We are always looking to better them, build upon them and establish new ones. This is just another venue that we do them in.”
The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
The New Britain Police Department has organized this year’s event along with the various city NRZ’s and neighborhood block watches. Donations have been made by many of the city businesses to provide food and entertainment for this year’s event.
Sgt. Paula Keller said there will be food at each as well as police motor cruisers, K-9’s, and City business vendors.
At Walnut Hill Park there will be a DJ and the YWCA dancers will be on hand. At Willow Street Park there be a live broadcast from 103.5 (a Spanish station).
“National Night Out started out a night out against crime. Police and the community have a cookout and send a message that we won’t tolerate criminal activity because we are working together,” said Keller. “There will be raffles and a lot of games for the kids. People just need to show up.”
Sponsors this year include McDonald’s on West Main St. will supply hamburgs, Stop and Shop, Celebration Foods, Target and Whitson’s Food Service will supply food for Willow Street Park.
“There are several other businesses supplying raffle prizes and pizzas and bottles of water,” said Keller. “There is a lot of people participating and it is really a good event for the community.”
NATW’s Executive Director, Matt Peskin introduced National Night Out. The first National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 7th 1984. That first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.
National Night Out now involves over 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
NATW is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs including neighborhood watch groups, law enforcement agencies, state and regional crime prevention associations, businesses, civic groups, and individuals, devoted to safer communities. The nation’s premiere crime prevention network works with law enforcement officials and civilian leaders to keep crime watch volunteers informed, interested, involved and motivated. Since 1981, NATW continues to serve thousands of members across the nation.