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Food, fun, and fighting crime

In weeks before school, kids celebrate night out

Hundreds of residents of Union City and West New York came out in early August to various National Night Out events, intended to help them meet local police and first responders. It was also a night to have some free-wheeling fun before school starts again the first week in September.

The 35th annual National Night Out events returned to West New York and Union City on Tuesday, Aug. 7, an observance across the country intended to improve relations between community police and residents. The night encourages residents to stay on their porches to greet their neighbors and show criminals they’re vigilant, or to attend safety fairs in their community.
The local events were also a chance for kids to enjoy food and fun with a few weeks left before heading back to school. The Union City public schools open on Thursday, Sept. 6. In West New York, they open on Friday, Sept. 7.


West New York held its National Night Out at three locations, including housing buildings and Miller Stadium.
The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue brought a firetruck into the stadium for visitors. West New York Police hitched an ATV to a small vehicle with hay and offered free rides. Various businesses also set up small tables around the stadium field.
Town Commissioners Cosmo Cirillo, Margarita Guzman, and Gabriel Rodriguez showed up.
“It’s a great community police and bonding event,” said West New York Police Capt. Ed Monti, who organizes National Night Out for the town. “We’ve kind of expanded it to our customers and our neighborhoods that have businesses in town, to reach out to the community and get to know them better.”
Monti, who has organized the event for the past five years, says that it has become more racially diverse, a “melting pot.”
“It’s about showing our support and appreciation to the Police Department,” Cirillo said. “This is really a big ‘Thank you’ to them.”
National Night attracts around 300 to 400 people in West New York annually, according to Monti.


Three locations were available for Union City residents for National Night Out: Central Avenue from 24th to 27th streets, New York Avenue from Seventh to 11th streets, and 43rd Street and Palisade Avenue. Some residents were carrying around posters of Mayor Brian Stack. The festivities included a bronco bull, live performance band, and other enjoyments.

Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com

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