ON THE GREEN: MEET THE FOLKS IN BLUE

080514fhnightout9The chance to dunk-tank a local official is just part of the free, family-friendly fun as the Fair Haven Police presents its 13th annual National Night Out Against Crime community event. Police departments in Red Bank and (for the first time) Little Silver also offer the community observances on August 4.

rb-nno2It’s a coast-to-coast community initiative which, in Fair Haven’s case, can be traced back 13 years – or, in the case of Little Silver, is being offered for the very first time.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 4, the Red Bank Police and its neighbor departments on the greater Green will once again invite all members of their communities to take part in National Night Out — the nationwide outreach program designed to “promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.” Or, as familiar spokesdog McGruff puts it, to “take a bite out of crime.”

Free of charge and open to all, the events offer summer-cookout food favorites, up-close looks at emergency response vehicles and special guests, plus music, face painting and bounce-houses for the kids — but within the fun setting is a serious message; one that says “our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back” against the incursion of the criminal element. In the words of state Senator Jennifer Beck — one of several local dignitaries acting as co-presenters of the Red Bank event — “We’re really looking forward to talking to folks in the community, to help promote a positive relationship with the police here in town.”

FAIR HAVEN

Beginning at 5 pm at the Youth Center (located behind police headquarters), the Fair Haven program features complimentary food and beverages for all guests, prize drawings from local businesses, and giveaways from Target of Middletown. The evening will commence with the landing of the MONOC Air Medic Unit helicopter in the field behind the police station, with the emergency response chopper remaining on view for the duration of the event.

Other activities at Tuesday’s Night Out in Fair Haven include:

Dunk Tank (sponsored by the Foundation of Fair Haven)

Inflatable Justice League 5-in-1 Bounce House (sponsored by Fair Haven Fire Department)

Inflatable gaming tent (sponsored by the Fair Haven First Aid Squad)

Karate demonstration (presented by Fair Haven Martial Arts)

K-9 demonstration with Sheriffs Officer Mike Mindo and K-9 Tango (presented by  Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office)

Special appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog

Target of Middletown will be on location with giveaways and will have drawing for several of their big items.  Complimentary food and beverages will be served along with drawings for prizes donated from local businesses.

LITTLE SILVER

Beginning at 6 pm and continuing until 9 pm in Markham Fields (behind Borough Hall on Prospect Avenue), Little Silver’s first National Night Out is designed to promote awareness of crime prevention and safety programs available to the public, as well as “to bring our residents closer to our police and community businesses.”

Free food and beverages will be offered at the event, with DJ music, a bounce house and dunk tank adding to the fun. The borough Fire Department will be on hand with displays and demos of emergency equipment, and info on crime prevention will be available on the scene.

For more details on the Little Silver event, call (732) 747-5900, extension 222.

RED BANK

Beginning at 6 pm and continuing through 9 pm in the parking lot of Borough Hall (corner of Maple Avenue and Monmouth Street), the Red Bank event offers complimentary food prepared by members of local PBA, plus face painting, music, games, giveaways, and more. A neighborhood walk will conclude with a tour of police headquarters, and a number of governmental, nonprofit and volunteer organizations from throughout the community will be on the scene with informational displays.

Past examples of police-sponsored interactive offerings have included a “drunk goggles” obstacle course, a radar baseball throw, and a child ID booth. The 2015 Red Bank event is presented by Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Cassagrande, Mayor Pasquale Menna, Police Chief Darren McConnell, and the Red Bank Police Department.