Rockford Public Safety Officer Ian Graham is excited to announce a first for Rockford’s annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. This year the regular line up also includes five local restaurants who will offer something (yet to be decided) but will sure to be a hit. Uccello’s, Corner Bar, Herman’s Boy, Ramona’s Table and Rogue River Tavern will all participate with something on site at the City Hall/Rockford Chamber of Commerce parking lot at 7 South Monroe Street. For the first time ever, Bridge Street will be closed from Main to Monroe to allow crowds a little more space. If this expansion goes well with restaurants participating, Graham may continue to grow the event by bringing in businesses. National Night Out is a country-wide celebration of safe communities and was begun as a campaign to take back neighborhood streets from crime in communities where residents feared being out and about past sundown. Chief Dave Jones of the Rockford Department of Public Safety talked about National Night Out at last month’s City Council meeting. “We haven’t had to take back our streets from crime. This is a time to get together in our downtown with citizens and law enforcement.” Rockford’s National Night Out will include our various law enforcement organizations, firefighters from Rockford and local townships, include neighborhood watch booths with crime prevention tips and a hotdog dinner cooked by members of the local firefighters association. Held at the Steven R. Servaas Municipal Complex (this is the first time we’ve had to use this new name for our city center) and Bridge Street, there will plenty for adults and kids to do. Fire equipment from the City of Rockford and the fire departments of Cannon, Courtland Plainfield and Oakfield township will be on site. A fire truck sprays water for people to run through, always a huge hit. Oakfield Township’s smoke-filled simulator is a trailer tricked out to show what it can be like in a smoke-filled structure, using non-toxic, artificial smoke. It is an experience for all ages to better understand what it is like trying to escape a fire. Participating will be the Rockford Safety Department, members of the Michigan State Police, including our K-9 officer and his […]
National Night Out
Dunk an officer, play in fire hoses National Night out is one celebration you don’t want to miss, coming right up on Tuesday, August 7 around the country from 6 to 8 p.m. Locally, planning is nearly complete for this year’s event, which takes place on Maple and Main streets in the parking lot where Northland Pontiac once stood (west of the Rockford Fire Department garage). All local law enforcement, each of Rockford’s eight Neighborhood Watch organizations, Rockford Ambulance and the representatives from the Helen DeVos Safe Kids will all be present. Nationally the event was started to encourage neighbors turn on their outside lights and go out to celebrate crime prevention. In Rockford, National Night Out is one of a half dozen community policing programs and one of the most inclusive events in proactive crime prevention. Those who come downtown for activities will have the chance to talk with Rockford police officers, firefighters, Kent County sheriff’s deputies, and troopers from the Michigan State Police, including our own Rockford-based K-9 officer with his German shepherd. According to organizer Officer Aaron Sawyer, National Night Out (NNO) is one of a flurry of summer community events in which his department participates. NNO comes on the heels of the Rockford Area Triathlon and the D.A.R.E. golf outing. “It’s a lot of fun,” Sawyer said. Each of the Neighborhood Watch associations will have a table under the big tent and will have either giveaways, games or information about crime prevention. The Rockford Fire Department will have a fire truck on the site, spraying mist for kids—or adults—to run or walk through to cool down. Members of the Rockford Firefighters Association will be manning the grill and handing out hotdogs, pop and chips free of charge. Always a popular offering, the police dunk tank will be set up and children are invited to throw a softball and dunk a Rockford police officer. Hundreds of your neighbors and city officials will be at this celebration as communities across our nation celebrate crime prevention together. An added benefit is the chance to mingle with the men and women who work hard to keep you safe all year around. Sawyer said good relations with law enforcement is a key element in community safety […]
photos by TOM SCOTT Rockford’s sixth annual National Night Out offered fun for families, free food and plenty of opportunity to play with law enforcement officers and firefighters. National Night Out 2011 in downtown Rockford included a giant cake with plenty for everyone, food grilled by local firefighters, and chances to dunk Rockford police and firefighters in the water with a popular dunk tank. The event is held annually to celebrate safety and is a time for individuals and families to get to know the local people who fight crime and help keep our community safe.
Celebrate an evening of fun and friendship with local law enforcement officers during National Night Out in Rockford, the seventh annual event for the town. Families are invited to come on down to downtown in this event which was designed nationally as a way for neighborhoods to “take back the night” from crime and criminals. It is a time to get to know your local law enforcement officers, enjoy fun activities. In Rockford’s National Night Out officers from the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department and Rockford Police will be among the gathering. Last year the event included hotdogs and cake. Booths from the area’s many Neighborhood Watch organizations will be informative or entertaining. Rockford Ambulance will be on hand and the Michigan State Police K-9 unit is usually an attraction for youngsters. Law enforcement officers enjoy the chance to interact with the public in a positive way and build relationships with the community. Giveaways, such as stickers, fliers and safety material is usually a part of the event, which takes place each year the first Tuesday of August.
Party is Tuesday, August 4 Join several hundred of your closest neighbors Tuesday, August 4, as the City of Rockford celebrates National Night Out from 6 to 8 p.m. Chief Dave Jones said with the Night Out party and Blues on the River, there will be a lot to see and do in downtown Rockford. The celebration is part of a national event in its 26th year. It was designed as a campaign to take back the streets from crime. “Stop in and see what we are doing in crime prevention,” Jones invited the public. Rockford Police, Kent County Sheriff deputies and Michigan State Police troopers will be on hand while the public enjoys free hot dogs and refreshments, snow cones, activities and a huge homemade cake baked by a Rockford officer’s mom. Jones said a brave officer will be in the dunk tank waiting to get dumped in by youngsters (or adults), with good aim. Last year visitors were able to see confiscated drug vehicles now used by police. This year, again, there will be child fingerprinting and bicycle helmets, booths from the seven Rockford Neighborhood Watch associations, and lots of activities. Jones said Rockford’s party is unusual. Here all watch associations come together for one big party. “It’s nice because they can meet and talk with each other and find out what they are doing for crime prevention,” he said. Jones said the City Neighborhood Watch is always looking for block captains for the organizations. Designed to promote safety through communication within neighborhoods, the program requires little in time commitment, but pays off big in safety. “In Rockford we aren’t taking our streets back from crime, we are fighting to keep our streets the way they are,” Jones said. The first Rockford National Night Out was in 2005 and held at City Hall. This year the event will be behind Rockford’s courthouse on Main Street (the old Northland Pontiac new car lot). “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Jones said. If the day is a hot one, kids will enjoy running through water provided by Rockford Fire Department trucks. “Firefighters like to spray things with water, so if it’s hot I’m sure they will do that again.”