By ARDEN BASTIA Across the country on August 3, residents and citizens will gather with law enforcement to celebrate National Night Out, an event to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The Warwick Police Department, the
Across the country on August 3, residents and citizens will gather with law enforcement to celebrate National Night Out, an event to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
The Warwick Police Department, the Oakland Beach Crime Watch and the Neighborhood Crime Watch Groups from around the city, in conjunction with the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni and Warwick Youth Advisory and Prevention Committee, invites Warwick residents to participate in National Night Out.
This year’s free, family-friendly event will take place on Tuesday, August 3 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Oakland Beach Commons at the end of Oakland Beach Ave.
Warwick’s National Night Out (NNO) is one of many that happen nationwide. According to Jeremy Jordan, president of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni, the goal of National Night Out is to “unite police departments with the communities they serve, and educate citizens on how to fight crime in their own neighborhoods.”
The first NNO was held in 1984 in Philadelphia. Since then it has been held in 16,000 communities involving 38 million people according to the NNO website.
In a brief interview Tuesday, Ward 6 Councilwoman Travis shared that “thousands” of people are expected to attend.
“The event always draws a crowd,” she said. “Especially post-COVID, this will be an event for people to reconnect with community and learn about resources that may help them. This event says let’s stop the crime, stop drugs, stop the bad stuff, and just open our doors.”
Jordan explained that NNO would feature over 50 exhibitors, face painting, entertainers, as well as complimentary food and drink followed by a fireworks display.
Attendees can look forward to K-9 unit, Jaws-of-Life, karate, and dive team demonstrations from police officers and firefighters, as well as a Don’t Text/Don’t Drive crash simulator to emphasize the importance of driving without distractions. The Police Honor Guard, Army Band, and the RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band will entertainment throughout the evening.
“We’re really excited for this event, especially getting together post COVID,” said Jordan. “It’s important for Warwick residents to understand what the department is, what it does, and how it contributes to the community.”
Travis, who says she’s “so excited” for the event, is passionate about National Night Out as a community resource, connecting individuals with services from the United Way, substance abuse resources, and mental health resources. Travis also mentioned that NNO is an opportunity for people to receive a COVID vaccine from the RI Department of Health or donate blood with the Rhode Island Blood Bank mobile donation center.
“Everything is a message,” said Travis. “Whether it’s the totaled car to send the message not to text and drive or resources for mental health, people can walk away with great information and the help they might need.”
Jordan said the Citizens Police Academy Alumni group took over running the event about three years ago. “Our members continue with us to stay involved with the police and be a presence in the community,” he shared.
Community Police Officer Dan Maggiacomo, who runs the Citizens Police Academy, said that the program has been filled to capacity the last few years.
The twelve-week program gives residents and inside look into the world of community policing.
“People can learn about the department, officer’s daily jobs, and how they work with the different city departments,” Maggiacomo said.
“The national sentiment towards law enforcement is a little different than what we see here in Warwick,” said Jordan. “This is a chance to give people a different point of view than what they see on TV.”
To reserve a table to promote your business at National Night Out, or to donate to the event, contact Jeremy Jordan at (401) 742-2364.