Community celebration is free, fun, informative

National Night Out is next Tuesday, August 7

Join your local law enforcement, neighbors and more as the Rockford Police, Rockford Fire, Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police participate in National Night Out Tuesday, August 7 in downtown Rockford from 6 to 8 p.m. According to organizer Officer Aaron Sawyer, the event is not only a fun celebration, but also informative.

“Lock your car doors, close your garage at night, leave outdoor lights on,” Sawyer said of simple practices that make a huge difference in preventing crime.

Other crime prevention material and giveaways will be available during the two-hour event which is a nationwide initiative. Here, it is held at Maple and Main streets in the parking lot formerly occupied by Northland Pontiac (just west of the Rockford fire garage), downtown Rockford.

Rockford’s National Night Out, in its eighth year, always draws crowds of hundreds who can walk from booth to booth under a big tent, visit with our local K-9 Michigan State Police trooper and his dog, throw a ball to try and dunk a Rockford police officer in the dunk tank, and enjoy a meal of hot dogs fired up by our Rockford firefighters (free or by donation with funds going to the Rockford Firefighter Association).

If weather is hot as it has been recently, the fire department’s truck on site spraying water to walk or run through will be greatly appreciated. In addition to the Michigan State Police K-9, there will be at least one Michigan State Police motorcycle to admire, and the troopers who drive them can answer questions.

Sawyer said events at National Night Out include bicycle helmet fitting, bike registration, face painting, games, a chance to see a Kent County Sheriff Marine Patrol boat and more, making the celebration interesting for all ages.

Rockford police began organizing the local National Night Out event along with a host of other community policing programs, such as the Rockford Area Triathlon, Shop with a Cop and Youth Night, as ways to interact with the public in fun settings. The Rockford school district is also one of the last to continue to have a D.A.R.E. program, which here is also organized by a Rockford police officer.

With music, plenty to see and do, and crime prevention advice and items available—not to mention visiting with hundreds of neighbors—National Night Out is sure to be one of the most helpful and fun ways to keep yourself and your family as safe from crime as possible.

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