SIDNEY — As August approaches, many law enforcement agencies in the county including the Sidney Police Department are getting ready for National Night Out.
The National Night Out campaign, first introduced in Philadelphia in 1984, is a community-building campaign that is designed to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. In its 38th year, National Night Out is held across 16,000 communities in the United States.
Out of the 101 cities in Ohio participating in National Night Out, Shelby County community events will be held in Sidney and Anna.
“National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances,” Community Resource Officer Bryce Stewart said.
The Sidney Police Department will be holding an obstacle course at courtsquare for kids in the community on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. Those who complete the course will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of many prizes donated by local businesses that have partnered with the police department. Drawings for the prizes will be held Wednesday, Aug. 3.
“The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities such as: drug prevention programs, neighborhood watch programs, and any other crime prevention programs that may be offered to the community,” Stewart said.
Stewart added that he and Capt. William Shoemaker will be in a dunk tank toward the end of the evening. Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye said that two deputies will also be participating in the dunk tank.
For Stewart, National Night Out has helped bridge the gap in generations and build a strong partnership with the youth of Shelby County.
“It helps us get those with police related questions answered to help them know and be informed about law enforcement,” Stewart said.
The village of Anna Police Department will be holding a community event from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Anna Community Park that will feature several vendors, a magician, live music, a car show, bounce balls, food trucks and games. Police cruisers, fire trucks, CareFlight and rescue vehicles will be present, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office DARE deputy will be present, as well.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will also have SRT team members present at Botkins’ National Night Out event.
“I believe events such as National Night Out help strengthen the relationships between the deputies and the citizens. Anytime we can be present with and interact with the citizens we serve is a great opportunity,” Frye said.