National Night Out to take streets back

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Members of the community participate in the 2014 National Night Out. Nevada Police Department photo

Nevada Daily Mail

The Nevada Police Department and other local businesses and entities will again participate in the annual National Night Out community event Tuesday evening as an effort to fight against crime in the city and the county.

For more than 30 years, NNO has been trying to enhance the relationship between law enforcement departments and the communities they serve while also building the sense of community among neighbors. More than 38 million people and 16,000 different communities now participate in the United States on an annual basis.

Police Chief Graham Burnley said he and the NPD have been participating directly in Nevada's NNO since 2011, though the event occurred even in years prior to that through the Parks Board. The NPD and Parks now work together to run the event, which usually draws hundreds of people, sometimes resulting in a shortage of the free hot dogs.

Held at the Walton Aquatic Center, participants can swim for free up until 8 p.m. and are also encouraged to view booths from area businesses and organizations such as the Lion's Club, Moss House, Missouri State Highway Patrol, On My Own, 3M, Crowder College Vernon County Sheriff's Office, Heartland, Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada housing. Many of those groups will provide refreshments such as water, popsicles and hot dogs while others have giveaways such as gift cards or certificates or even a water slide.

Last year, there were horses and ponies on hand for families to interact with and even put painted hand prints on. An AirMed helicopter will make an appearance this year and participants in the event can also be entered in a drawing, which in the past has been for a window air-conditioning unit, though this year's prize has not been confirmed yet.

"It's a nice event," Burnley said, saying it's a family-friendly event that encourages people to do activities outside of illegal ones. "This is about taking back the streets, fighting crime."

Burnley said the event is an opportunity for families to interact with neighbors as a community and a way for the police department to positively interact with the residents.

"That's what this is about, we want them to come out and interact with us and the sheriff's department and the highway patrol," Burnley said. "It's an opportunity for us to be in the community in a positive setting."

Burnley said the event is more than just a pool party, adding their goal is to provide not just a time of fun for families but an educational opportunity as well.

Officer Patrick Deao will provide information on crime prevention at the NPD booth while also providing an opportunity for residents to register their bicycles to help prevent theft.

With the forecast showing temperatures in the low 90s and partly cloudy weather, Burnley said the weather should be perfect for the event and much preferred to a few years ago when it was 106 degrees the day of NNO. But even if the weather is warm, he said there would be no better place to be than at the pool.

The schedule of events begins with a proclamation by the mayor at about 6:50 p.m., followed by the national anthem and then the opening of the pool gates by 7 p.m. The drawings will be held at 8:30 p.m. near the NPD booth. Sheena Dickey will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

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