City plans for 9th Night Out against crime

The community once again is invited to take part in a national night out against crime.

For eight years, the Wapakoneta Police Department has joined national efforts to take part in a night meant as a unique crime and drug prevention effort designed to heighten awareness, generate support and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

“It’s a good way for police to interact with the community, answer questions and for them to check out the equipment we use,” Wapakoneta Police Chief Russ Hunlock said. “It’s a way to show the criminal element we are going to take a stand together as a community and not tolerate any kind of crime.”

National Night Out, which is held the first Tuesday of August each year, brings together more than 15,000 communities in all 50 states and elsewhere throughout the world, giving residents an opportunity to interact with police officers before something is wrong. Described as a block party, the evening’s events have been promoting public safety for almost 30 years.

Wapakoneta’s National Night Out is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Harmon Park Gazebo and features refreshments and hot dogs, chips and cookies, child identification kits, and bike helmets. There also are to be giveaways for pool passes and two bikes and music played throughout the evening. The LifeFlight helicopter plans to make a landing during the event and a K-9 demonstration is planned for 8 p.m. with several law enforcement vehicles on display for community members to look at.

Everything is free while supplies last at the event sponsored by Wapakoneta police, fire and EMS and the Wapakoneta Noon Optimist Club. In addition to the city’s police and fire departments, representatives of law enforcement agencies from throughout the county are expected to be on hand for the event.

“We hope to have as many law enforcement representatives there are possible from throughout the county,” Hunlock said. “We are looking forward to people showing up and spending some time with us.”