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National Night Out community event planned for Berlin

8/2/12 | By Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN – Berlin will join approximately 15,000 communities in all 50 states in an effort for residents to interact with local police in a positive atmosphere during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

From 4-7 p.m., the public is invited to join the Berlin Police Department, other town officials and local businesses at Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street for an educational and entertaining evening. There is no cost to attend.

“It’s a statement that the community has come together to fight crime,” said Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing.

Among the presence of local emergency service departments giving informative demonstrations concerning multiple aspects of public safety, many local businesses will offer activities for children such as bouncing rides and face painting.

Food and live music will be provided by Berlin Area Ministries United, a coalition of many churches in the area.

Representatives from the Berlin Parks Commission will also be on hand. They will be asking residents what they would like to see in the future renovation project of Henry Park.

The Berlin Parks Commission has been planning major renovations to the park, such as a new basketball court and an additional pavilion, that will begin next year.

Organized nationally by the National Association of Town Watch – a nonprofit organization in promotion of crime prevention programs – the event is not only focused on the prevention of illegal activities, but it is also meant as an opportunity to bring community members closer.

“Most activities now take place away from the home or neighborhood,” said Matt Peskin, executive director of NATW. “It’s just a great time for people to be out with local police while nothing is wrong.”

Berlin has participated in National Night Out for more than a decade and usually draws thousands to Henry Park.

Due to the heat, the police department expects a smaller turnout than usual, but more than a thousand residents will likely attend the event.

About 37 million people participated countrywide in National Night Out last year.

Locals will not have to deal with the intense heat of Texas, however, which is the only state participant waiting until October to hold National Night Out in order to avoid high temperatures.

This event would not be possible without the funding of the Collaborative Supervision & Focused Enforcement Violence Prevention Initiative, a state program that provides grants to support public safety.

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