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.”

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RB, FH: A NIGHT OUT, A BITE OUT OF CRIME

Night OutA demonstration of driving with “Drunk Goggles” is part of the programming in Red Bank, as police departments in two local boroughs invite kids to take part in the National Night Out initiative.

From press materials furnished by Red Bank Police Dept., Fair Haven Police Dept. and Sen. Jennifer Beck

There’s an Inflatable Dalmatian Bounce House. A gaming tent, face painting, cookout favorites, prize giveaways — and even a chance to Dunk Tank a local official. It’s not the Street Festival, Block Party or Fireman’s Fair, but an altogether different kind of event that makes itself at home in the community each summer — the annual Night Out in Fair Haven and Red Bank.

Presented by the Police Departments in both local boroughs on Tuesday, August 5, the 12th annual event is once again part of a National Night Out community outreach program, in which law enforcement personnel from coast to coast invite the youngest members of their communities to learn about safety and police work in a friendly and fun setting.

Introduced in 1984, the Night Out initiative is designed to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie, and the sending of “a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”

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A NIGHT OUT FOR RED BANK, FAIR HAVEN

natl-night-out-20101Scenes from the 2010 National Night Out in Red Bank. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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It’s one night of the year where the badge and blue shirt come to represent something a little less  fear-inducing, when the local fuzz trades in authority to bond with those it protects over burgers and dogs.

National Night Out, the community outreach program that spans police departments coast-to-coast, gets going in select towns on The Green Tuesday night, a fitting lead into the lazy days of summer’s end when many families are preparing for another school year.

“It’s good to get everyone out. It shows the kids they don’t have to be afraid to interact with the police,” said Stephen Schneider, a patrolman in Fair Haven. “We’re not just out there writing tickets and telling them to put their helmets on. We’re there for everybody.”

Besides, who can resist a sanctioned chance to dunk a cop with a fastball?

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