Several first responders were in attendance at Hope's National Night Out Tuesday night. Photo by Lance Hawley.
With reporting by Lance Hawley
Hope and Prescott both held National Night Out events in their parks last night, with many first responders participating in the annual event intended to solidify relationships between police and citizens.
Hope Police Department Community Outreach Officer Justin Dean, in attendance at Hope’s Night Out held at Fair Park, summed up the events’ purpose: “Build rapport between the police department and the children and adults of the community … My goal in any community-based policing is to have the kids run toward the police cars and not away from them.”
In Hope, members of the Hope Police Department and the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office as well as other first responders in the area came to greet the many kids and adults attracted to the prospect of taking a swim, eating hot dogs, chips and cotton candy and floating in the bouncy houses.
Meanwhile, in Prescott’s Fairgrounds, kids and grown-ups could meet their local officers of the City of Prescott and Nevada County Sheriff’s Offices. Other first-responders from the area came as well. In the Potlatch building, several vendors set up items for sale and hot dogs were made available. The Prescott Lions had their food truck on the site as well.
Prescott Police Chief Ann Jordan spoke about the culminating event of the evening, a kickball game between a team consisting of area youth and one comprised of first responders. “we got a house full on the inside, a big group of kids that's wanting to play kickball and defeat us this year. We beat them last year. So they have come back to get revenge,” she said.
The events were part of a national effort. sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by local police departments, involving over 16,700 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases around world. National Night Out’s 2023 corporate sponsors are Associa, Starbucks, ADT and L.E.A.D.