Police invite Ventnor residents to a Night Out

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People gather for a previous National Night Out event behind the Ventnor Library and Cultural Art Center. Photo by Shaun Smith

VENTNOR – The local police and fire departments welcome the town to take part in National Night Out Tuesday, Aug. 7.
This will be the fifth annual event here and the 29th annual for the event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

Last year, more than 1,000 people joined local businesses, civic groups and the Ventnor City Police and Fire departments at the park behind the Ventnor Library and Cultural Art Center, 6500 Atlantic Ave. More than 37 million people participated from more than 15,000 communities across the country last year.

It’s sponsored locally by the Ventnor Drug and Alcohol Alliance, Ventnor Patrolman’s Benevolent Association Local 97, Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association Local 38, and the North Beach Residents’ Committee. Ice cream will be provided by Ventnor Veterans and Marcacci Meat Market will provide the hot dogs.

National Night Out in Ventnor runs 5-8 p.m. and features interactive activities for children including a dunk tank, hammer strike, basketball and fingerprinting.

After the festivities in the park the evening will conclude with a movie on the beach, “Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” beginning at 8:30 p.m. at Newport Avenue beach.

The event is intended to heighten awareness about crime and drug prevention, generate public support, neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and to signify an organized neighborhood effort in fighting crime.

Police Capt. Doug Biagi can usually be found manning the wheel of chance during the event.

“It gives the people of Ventnor a chance to meet police officers and firefighters because normally they don’t have access to them unless in an emergency,” Biagi said Monday, July 30.

In addition to fun for kids, there is information for parents, booths from local businesses and fingerprints of the kids for the parents’ records, not the police, Biagi said.

“I love seeing everyone have a clean, good old time, and have the police interact with people on nice terms,” said Biagi. “When you call the fire department or ambulance, it’s because someone needs help. When people call police, often it’s usually because something bad has happened.”

Biagi added that many of the officers either live in town or have roots here so it’s nice for them to get out and talk with people as well.

The event helps make the community a safer place to live, work and raise a family, according to police Officer Steven Doyle, president of Ventnor City PBA Local 97.

“Ventnor City is no different than any other municipality in the state; crime doesn't discriminate. Events like National Night Out help foster and strengthen our bonds in the community with residents, business owners, civic leaders and local officials,” said Doyle Monday. “Secondly, we invite our fire department to share in the celebration, as we work together closely everyday to keep our residents safe. This event gives our community an opportunity to meet our public safety professionals in a non-traditional environment and to speak openly about their concerns.”

Doyle added that the National Night Out event planner encourages residents to keep their outside lights on, meet on neighbors’ porches and let people know that they are on watch.  

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