‘Night Out’ puts the fun in crime prevention

By on August 10, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Neighbors united once again as the East Cocalico Township Police Department partnered with East Cocalico Church of the Brethren, Salem Reformed Evangelical Church and Harvest Fellowship Church to host the area’s fifth annual National Night Out in Reamstown Memorial Park on Aug. 2.

The family event, held in conjunction with National Night Out, a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, proved to be an opportunity for area residents to enjoy some fun and fellowship, see some familiar faces and meet some new ones while working toward a common cause.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Visitors enjoyed food, children’s activities, bingo, an inflatable bouncy house and a dunk tank along with the opportunity to sit in two of the East Cocalico Township police patrol cars and walk through their special services unit, used to investigate major accidents and crime scenes. The success of the event and the larger than expected attendance of adults and children was evident… the hot dogs were gone before the evening’s half-way mark.

East Cocalico Township Police Chief George Beever said that every year the crowd gets bigger.

"It’s a really nice community effort," Chief Beever said, giving much credit to Sgt. Ray Burns, who puts together the coordinating of the department’s displays.

Beever feels the local Night Out is a helpful extension of a program from the past.

"Years ago when the town watch program started, the basic premise was for neighbors to keep an eye on each other," he said. "People get a chance to meet the people in their community and meet the emergency responders."

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