Two local police departments will host events as part of National Night Out (NNO) from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Manor Township Police Department (MTPD) will hold its celebration at Leisure Lanes Bowling & Golf Center, 3440 Columbia Ave., Lancaster, and the Southern Regional Police Department (SRPD) has organized a gathering at West Willow Fire Company, 192 W. Willow Road, Willow Street.
The MTPD has regularly participated in NNO, which is an annual event in its 35th year. This year is the first time that the SRPD has sponsored an event.
SRPD Chief John Michener explained that his department's initiative had its beginnings several months ago at the suggestion of resident Dennis Harding. "In years past, our officers took part in other local NNO events put on by neighboring communities, but Mr. Harding wanted to do one here in Pequea Township," Michener explained. "We had little time and no money budgeted, but thanks to Mr. Harding and the support of other community residents and businesses, we've been able to quickly put together a nice little event for our community."
The SRPD's affair will feature members and equipment from the police department as well as the New Danville and West Willow fire companies and Lancaster Emergency Medical Services Association (LEMSA). Entertainment for children will include a dunk tank, a bounce house, and other activities, and a juggler will perform. Refreshments will be available free of charge as supplies last.
The event at Leisure Lanes will feature police departments from East Hempfield Township, Millersville borough, and Millersville University, as well as the MTPD. Other organizations slated to participate include Blue Rock Fire Rescue, HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Lancaster DUI Council, Pilot Club International, Pet Pantry of Lancaster County, Lancaster Velo Club, Wilshire Hills Lions Club, Safe Families for Children, Salvation Army, and several local businesses.
Highlights will include face painting, a workout class, and a dunk tank, with Sen. Scott Martin and several police officers taking turns on the wet seat. East Hempfield K-9 officer Bill Watt and his canine partner, Tundra, will give a demonstration of their skills. A variety of food and beverages will be available free of charge.
NNO was created to develop awareness of crime and drug prevention, generate local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and partnerships between police departments and the communities they serve, and send a message that neighborhoods are organized and fighting against crime.
"A local police department is only as strong and successful as its relationship and bond with its community," Michener remarked. "I feel that we are fortunate to already have a great relationship with our residents and businesses, but there is always room for improvement and to meet new people. This event is a chance for us to meet more residents and for residents to stand up and make a difference in their neighborhoods."
Michener encourages folks who are unable to attend either of the official events to turn on their exterior lights, lock their doors, and spend time outside with their neighbors.
For more information about the SRPD, readers may call Michener at 717-947-7546. To learn more about the MTPD's event, folks may contact Sgt. Kimberly Geyer at 717-299-5231 or email@example.com.