By DANIELLE TEPPER
Since 1984, the National Association of Town Watch, a non-profit dedicated to community crime and drug prevention, has been sponsoring one evening a year to promote involvement in local police programs.
National Night Out, held on the first Tuesday in August, is celebrated by more than 15,000 communities nationwide. This year, for the 29th annual event, Red Bank and Fair Haven are among those communities.
In Red Bank, the evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a neighborhood walk starting at borough hall (90 Monmouth St.) and loop through the downtown area. Walkers will include the Red Bank Police Department, District 12 legislators and other elected officials, as well as any residents who wish to participate. Afterward, the RBPD will provide complimentary food and refreshments in the borough hall parking lot. There will also be music and giveaways, as well as kids games and activities.
In Fair Haven, festivities begin at 5 p.m. at the Youth Center (35 Fisk St.) for the towns tenth year of participation. From 5 to 6 p.m., MONOCs Air Medic Unit helicopter will be on location after landing in the field behind police headquarters. A dunk tank sponsored by the Fair Haven PTA will be on hand, as well as an Adventure Bounce house sponsored by LOK DOC, a karate demonstration by Fair Haven Fitness, an inflatable speed pitch with radar sponsored by the Fair Haven Fire Department, and an inflatable gaming tent housing four separate games sponsored by the Fair Haven First Aid.
As a canine-specific bonus, two K-9 demonstrations by Officer Kurt Kroeper and his K-9 partner Evan, and Officer Jay Aretino and his K-9 partner Ari of the Monmouth County Sheriffs Department. Target, the national sponsor of NNO, will also be giving away four bicycles. Complimentary food and beverages and drawings to win other prizes are on the agenda.
According to its website, NNO is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Anyone willing to show this support for their communities need only show up on Tuesday, August 7.