Lower Saucon and Hellertown emergency services are combining forces for National Night Out 2018.
On Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m., the Lower Saucon Township and Hellertown Borough police departments, Dewey Fire Company, Lower Saucon Fire Rescue, Steel City Fire Department and the National Guard will join together for the event in Hellertown’s Dimmick Park.
National Night Out is an event held across the United States to help strengthen the bond between citizens and their local police and fire departments. It focuses on community partnership through open dialogue and allows residents to mingle with those whose job it is to ensure their safety.
Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp views the event as a great opportunity for police to interact with the public in a way that does not necessarily center around the law, with the goal of forming a better relationship.
Lower Saucon Township Police Chief Thomas Barndt echoed those ideals, saying that National Night Out builds a partnership with those who support local law enforcement and helps to break down the barrier that sometimes exists between local police and the community.
Both chiefs of police emphasized the importance of working together to create a centralized, unified celebration that connects Saucon Valley as a whole, as opposed to Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township separately.
National Night Out is open to all ages.
“We want everybody there,” Shupp encouraged.
The event will include a DJ and refreshments, including free hot dogs, chips, ice pops and water.
Children’s activities will include face-painting, a fish pond, a bounce house, police cars, fire trucks, a National Guard Humvee, children’s fingerprinting, Sparky the Fire Dog, the fire hose ‘knock-down’ house, balloon designs by Holly Prescott and a bike rodeo for ages three to 12 organized by Saucon Valley Bikes of Hellertown. Saucon Valley Bikes owner Steve LaBrake said he is more than happy to help support the event.
National Night Out is funded entirely by donations. Local sponsors for the event will have their name or logo featured on signs.
Both Chief Shupp and Chief Barndt said they appreciate the generosity of businesses and residents of the two municipalities who are supporting this year’s event. They said they would also like to thank everybody who sat in on the planning meetings for National Night Out, which began in April.
The chiefs both agreed that they want attendees to walk away with the sense that police officers and emergency services personnel are normal people and “down to Earth.”
“We like to have fun,” Chief Barndt said.
The two aim to give back and show appreciation for the support of everybody in the Saucon Valley area and hope residents will gain a better understanding of law enforcement.
Finally, they hope to build upon this year’s National Night Out for next year’s event. National Night Out is a yearly event always held on the first Tuesday in August.