America’s National Night Out Against Crime continues to grow nationally and remains strong locally. The program is designed to heighten awareness and strengthen community participation against crime, and is celebrated in hundreds of towns across the country. On Tuesday, both Union City and West New York presented Night Out events.
Poolside in WNY
West New York hosted their National Night Out at the municipal pool on 60th Street.
“On this night, we [provided] the kids with music, free food like hamburgers, hot dogs, and soda, while the police provided safety tips and procedures,” said Carol Durrant from the Public Affairs Department. The food was provided by Hashway’s Deli and Catering in North Bergen.
‘Have fun, stay out of trouble.’ – Juan J. Berdecia
Durrant described National Night Out as “a good way for the police and public to connect.”
Jessica Santos, who brought her 4-year-old, said, “The program helps our children understand the good and bad. The West New York police have actually done an immense job in changing crime in the area.”
Mayor Felix Roque, who was in attendance, said he wanted the kids to know “that besides your parents, your mayor, the commissioners, and the police are here for you.”
Three police officers in uniform milled around the event.
Union City multi-block party
In Union City, National Night Out took place on 22nd Street stretching from Summit to New York avenues. People filled the streets to enjoy the activities provided by the town.
Police provided information on crime prevention, and several organizations provided preventive health information and screenings. The Fire Department was on hand demonstrating safety tips.
The lines for childrens’ games and food remained long throughout the night, but many did not mind the lines.
Andrea Moreno, who brought her 3-year-old sister, wanted her sibling to “have fun, enjoy games all for a good cause.”
If the children did not want to play games or enjoy the rides, they were welcome to take a picture on a motorcycle courtesy of Union City Police Officers Max Lara and Rick Fernandez. The officers also allowed the kids to play with the sirens and start the engines.
“Tonight is about showing the people togetherness,” Fernandez said. “The city and the police are here to support them at all times.”
Meanwhile, 6-year-old Jair Alonso summed up the night by saying, “I’m learning and having so much fun.”
Gustavo L. Adrianzén may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.