SIDNEY — National Night Out, the nation-wide, annual program in which local law enforcement aims to connect and build community relations, is set for the Tuesday evening, Aug. 3.
The first Tuesday in August across America is the day annually designated to promote crime prevention and police-community relations.
The city of Sidney will observe National Night Out starting at 5 p.m. downtown on the Shelby County Courtsquare and at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 707 N. Ohio Ave., from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The Sidney Police Department (SPD), Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) and Sidney Fire Department will be present to communicate and foster relationships with residents.
According to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ’s Facebook page, this year, its “celebration is going to be a neighborhood meal. We are going to transform the parking lot into an outdoor dining space and invite our neighborhood to join us.”
Sidney Alive invites the public to join the free attractions including various games, a bounce house, a dunk tank, and enjoy various take-home goodies for kids. Free food will be provided by Connection Point Church.
National Night Out “enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” a Sidney Alive press release said. “Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
“We’re excited to showcase our sense of community through this event and honor our first responders. Together, we will create a community we can all be proud of. After the 18+ months we’ve all endured, more than ever we need to make those face-to-face connections with people in our neighborhoods, city and county. We’re thankful that we’re able to host this event, for all of our first responders, and all of the organizations who will be joining us to provide all the fun!” Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich said by email.
“The event will feature free hot dogs, chips and water provided by Connection Point Church. Kona Ice will be in attendance and family-friendly activities will be provided by several organizations, including a bounce house, and a dunk tank, where, for a small donation, you can dunk your favorite first responders! Dunk tank is provided and sponsored by Biggins Small Engine Repair,” the release said.
When asked how Sidney Police will engage at the event, other than showing off their vehicles, Sidney Police Community Service Officer Bryce Stewart said, “We will be participating in the dunk tank and giving out stickers for the kids, and handing literature out.”
In the villages of Botkins and Jackson Center, National Night Out will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Botkins will hold the event at its Sports Complex next to the village pool. Jackson Center’s event will be at the village pool.
The village of Anna will observe National Night Out from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Anna Community Park.
Botkins Police Sgt. Mark Jordan said the village of Botkins will have members of Botkins Police Department and Fire Department, Anna Rescue, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and CareFlight present for its National Night Out event.
There will be free food and water and also giveaways like stickers and badges for the kids, he said.
Jackson Center Police Chief Chuck Wirick said they will have police and fire personnel as well as members of the Anna Rescue with all their vehicles out on display.
There will be free light snacks and refreshments, Wirick said, like hot dogs, chips, cookies, water and other beverages. They will have lots of games and small things to give away to children, along with a DJ, and numerous organizations set up to hand out pamphlets.
Anna Police Chief Darrin Goudy said along with Anna Police, Fire and Rescue, also present for Anna’s National Night Out will be the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office’s DARE unit and mascot and CareFlight will be making a visit. Food trucks, craft and other vendors will be set up, and the Shelby County Health Department will be handing out information.
With the help of the local Boy Scouts they will have several games for the kids to enjoy at the village park, including kickball and Cornhole. There will also be comedians and a magician there for entertainment.
“We just want to get out there and interact with police and fire and the community,” Goudy said.
National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out, which now involves over 38 million people across 16,000 communities from all 50 states, according to the National Night Out website.
“Events like this one are only possible because of all of Sidney Alive’s community sponsors and donors, including the City of Sidney and Emerson Climate Technologies,” Sidney Alive’s release said. “For more information about the event or other Sidney Alive events, contact the Sidney Alive office at 937-658-6945 or firstname.lastname@example.org”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.