National Night Out brings community, law enforcement together

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LOWER TOWNSHIP - The Lower Township Police Department and local officials are getting ready to welcome residents to the annual celebration of police and community partnerships during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m.

National Night Out is about educating the community on safety and learning about the police department, fire department, rescue department and all of their equipment and vehicles in a fun, entertaining atmosphere, said Lower Township Police Officer Bill Barcas, who is the school resource officer and helped organize the annual event. 

“National Night Out brings community groups, businesses and people from all over the township together,” said Barcas. “With their help and support, we can have an event where we can stand together and promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity.”

In addition to public safety displays, other activities include business sponsored games and events such as pony rides, a dunk tank, face painting, video games and live music. Food such as ice cream, hotdogs and pizza will be available.

Run by the National Association of Town Watch, the event was introduced in early 1980s designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. The annual celebration draws more than 37 million participants across the United States and Canada, according to organizers.

“It is an important demonstration of teamwork between communities and law enforcement,” said Police Chief William Mastriana who thanked all of the businesses, agencies, groups and citizens who are planning to volunteer their time and resources to help make this night fun and informative. “National Night Out helps us realize the importance and value of working together. We get a true sense of community and just how great a force that can be.”

Lower Township National Night Out will be held at Lower Cape May Regional High School on Aug. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. Activities will be held by the athletic fields and parking is available in the main school lot.

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