For more than three decades, the National Night Out program has brought police departments and communities together to improve relationships through games, music, dance, crafts and other activities.
Now in its 38th year, several local towns will join thousands of municipalities across the country with similar events on Tuesday that aim to showcase police in a peaceful atmosphere.
According to the campaign’s website, National Night Out was introduced in 1984 through a network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups and other volunteer organizations across the country. country.
The first celebration brought together 2.5 million people in 23 different states. Today, 16,000 communities in the United States participate, including more than 30 in Connecticut.
“This is another great opportunity to continue to bring the police and the community closer together,” East Hartford Police Chief Scott Sansom said. “Last year’s success sparked the plan for this year, where we will have two locations available for all to enjoy.”
East Hartford’s “Roading Party” will take place in the city’s two most crowded parks. The event will begin at Gorman Park on May Road from 2-4 p.m. and continue at Martin Park on Burnside Avenue from 5-7 p.m.
This is the sixth year that East Hartford has participated in National Night Out. In the past, the city held the event at police headquarters, but the construction and renovation of the Raymond Library has made the area unsafe for the celebration.
Each park will host similar games and activities, including a corn hole and bowling station, as well as a tour of “Harris in Wonderland”, who will show off his python.
East Hartford public information officer Marc Caruso said the event gives residents a chance to speak with officers in a fun environment.
“They can ask us questions, we can hang out with the kids, and everyone can see everyone and bridge the gap between the community and the police,” Caruso said.
Manchester will also host several events at different locations for National Night Out.
From 5:30-7:30 p.m., Leisure Labs at the Mahoney Rec Center on Cedar Street will host a Westside Community Block Party with music and chalk art.
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., residents can take a dip in the Waddell Pool on Broad Street or join the Manchester Police Department at Charter Oak Park in the south of the city for a foot-golf tournament. To end the evening, residents can head to Northwest Park off Tolland Turnpike for a movie and ice cream at 8 p.m.
National Night in Vernon will be hosted by the Vernon Police Department and Community Network from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ladd & Hall parking lot, 20 E. Main St., in downtown Rockville.
“It allows people to hang out, meet the officers, share ideas, share their concerns,” Vernon Police Chief John Kelley said. “The ultimate goal is to make Vernon a better place to live, visit and work.”
In addition to games, free food, a bouncy house and a COVID-19 reminder clinic, residents can talk to police in an informal setting and get valuable information from community agencies.
Additionally, Staples and other local businesses will provide free school supplies such as backpacks, pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks and notebooks to local students.
“It’s really important for people to come together, to know what’s available to them, to be able to meet each other, to be able to share a smile, and that’s really part of the fun,” Vernon said. Community Network Treasurer Tom Didio. “We are so grateful to the city for what they are doing to provide space and anything they can do to help us make this event a success.”
Enfield will host its second annual National Night Out event from 6-8 p.m. on the Town Green at 820 Enfield St.
After a high turnout last year, the police department has been very active on social media asking for help from the community, Community Policing Officer Steven Austin said.
“This is an incredible opportunity for community members, various businesses and groups to join the police department in creating a sense of unity within the community,” he said. “This is a very family friendly event where hopefully everyone will have a fun and safe evening.”
Several groups and businesses have given the town various crafts and games for all to enjoy.
Enfield also plans to have a fire department smoke trailer display and a military vehicle, courtesy of the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, for its “touch-a-truck” event. There will also be demonstrations of drones and K9 police dogs.
Other local towns taking part in National Night Out on Tuesday include East Windsor, Suffield and Windsor.
For more information on the program, visit: