National Night Out planned Aug. 4

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — National Night Out — an event to promote crime prevention and police-community relations — will be observed in Sidney Tuesday, Aug. 4, on the courtsquare downtown and at a local church.

National Night Out is observed annually on the first Tuesday of August as America’s night out against crime.

On the Shelby County courtsquare downtown, activities will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., according to Downtown Sidney, an organizer of the event.

Among agencies taking part will be the Sidney Police Department. Officer Mike McRill, community resource officer, said the Ohio State Highway Patrol is expected to take part, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office also has been invited to attend. Others to be represented are Safe Haven, a nonprofit agency for adults in need of mental health support, and Damsel in Defense, a business that offers self-defense products for women.

Sidney Police will have child Identification kits (fingerprinting and DNA) available for parents who wish to have this for their children, McRill said. Police will also have bike registration available as a way to return recovered lost or stolen bikes to the owners. “In addition, we will have police cruisers and officers present throughout the event with displays of some of our equipment,” he said.

McRill said police also will have an officer at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 707 N. Ohio Ave. According to information provided by the church, activities there will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Organizers invite the public for free attractions that will include a slide, bouncy house, corn hole, basketball, bingo, food and music. “Join us for a fun-filled evening and get to know your neighbors,” organizers said.

“I appreciate St. Paul’s, the Chamber (of Commerce) and Downtown Sidney’s support of law enforcement and first responders through this event and the ‘Picnic with our Heroes’ on Aug. 21; Batman will be there!” McRill said. “Sidney is a great community to be a part of!”

National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out, which now involves over 37 million people across 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide, according to the National Night Out website.

The purpose of the event is to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie in the fight for a safer nation.

The traditional “lights on” campaign and front porch vigils turned into a celebration across America with various events and activities including, but not limited to, block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies, marches, exhibits, youth events, safety demonstrations, and seminars in effort to heighten awareness, enhance community relations and send a message to criminals — letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.