SIDNEY — Local law enforcement’s goal is to connect and build community relations during the nation-wide, annual program — National Night Out — Tuesday evening on Aug 2.
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 between 5:30 to approximately 9 p.m. downtown on the north side of the Shelby County courtsquare, and at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 707 N. Ohio Ave.
The Sidney Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Patrol and Sidney Fire Department will be present to facilitate communication and foster relationships with residents.
Sidney Police Chief Will Balling said they will have child fingerprinting kits available for parents who wish to have this for their children, and have various parts of the police department between each location including a drug officer, a member of the squat team, and Officer Jim Jennings and K-9 Officer Kilo.
Downtown Sidney Director Amy Breinich invites the public to join the free attractions including various games, face painting, an obstacle course, coloring, crafts, to contribute to the community mural, and enjoy food provided by Connection Point Church.
St. Paul’s United Church Co-Event Organizer Gina Skorupski said to “come eat and have fun” from 6 to 8 p.m. in the church’s parking lot where they will be offering lots of kid-friendly fun. There will be various games and prizes, a D.J. playing line-dancing music, Bingo, and free hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones. Officers will be moving back and forth between the two locations, as well as the fire department’s fire engine.
“It will be a very relaxed approach where we are just walking around and talking to people, and people are more than welcome to come up and ask questions … We are here for them, and we definitely appreciate the support they have been giving us, especially in the last two weeks. The outcry from the community at the different events has been outstanding with us,” said Balling.
The evening’s activities will wind down at dusk when the movie Batman vs. Superman will start downtown. Breinich said the movie is rated PG-13 and asks parents to preview the movie before showing it to their children. Also, a yet to be announced movie, will be shown at St. Paul’s United Church starting at 8 p.m.
“I cannot thank the community enough, from Davis Meats to Cargill, who came down and brought pizzas one day. So many individuals have dropped off baked goods, or cards of thanks, or letters of support. The outcry has been wonderful here, and the support. Sunday we had some churches pray for our officers. Even though we’re facing a very critical stage in law enforcement and very critical across the country, Shelby County has really stood up and backed us up 100 percent. And I cannot thank them enough for supporting all of the officers, the dispatchers — anybody here in Shelby County, whether it be Sidney Officers, Shelby County Deputies, or Village Officers,” Balling said of the police department’s experience amid the dangerous state for law enforcement currently.
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.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.