Town Crier

WILMINGTON/TEWKSBURY — On Aug. 1, Wil­mington and Tewksbury police departments will be participating in Na­tional Night Out, an event where citizens come to­gether with their law en­forcement officers for the chance to connect and have fun in one place.

According to the Tewks­bury PD Facebook page, National Night Out ex­pects 37.8 million participants this year across the country, from over 16,000 communities in the U.S. and Canada. The event itself exists to promote crime and drug prevention by encouraging community interaction be­tween citizens and law enforcement.

The Tewksbury NNO holds the theme “give neighborhood crime and drugs a going away par­ty,” this year and every year, starting at 4:30 p.m. at TMHS. Their lineup for the night promises a classic car show, a cookout, music by Jumpin Juba, and lots of games and giveaways, in addition to the crime prevention in­formation.

Helping to provide this town-wide event are Lowell Five, Salem Five, Enterprise Bank, RTN Cre­dit Union, Wamesit Lanes, Tewksbury United Methodist Church, Upper Merrimack Valley Reserve Corps, Greater Lowell Health Al­liance, Lowell General Hos­pital, and the Tewksbury Fire Department, School De­partment, State Hospital, and Board of Health.

In Wilmington, they’ll get started at 6 p.m. at Rotary Park with bouncy houses, balloons, face painting, tours of the building, a performance from the Irish-Am­erican Police Association, a dunk tank, and a helicopter landing.

Wilmington Police Officer Matt Stavro shares that they’re also offering safety demonstrations, in particular a practice crawling through fog, and displaying their vehicles and equipment.

Wilmington’s sponsors for the night include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire­arms and Explosives; FBI Citizens Academy; U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminis­tra­tion; U.S. Postal Inspections Service; Federal Reserve Police Department; Mass. National Guard; Mass. State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section; Mass. State Police Mounted Unit; Middlesex Sheriff’s Office; and Wilmington Fire De­partment.

Red Heat Tavern will be providing food for the event. Officer Stavro also mentions that Target is donating wa­ter and raffling bikes, and Blink is raffling 25 wi-fi home security cameras.

Stavro said National Night Out and events like it are made possible by a grant for community initiatives from the Cummings Foundation.

“It’ll be our fourth year,” he continued. “Every year it’s gotten a little bigger.”

Connecting more with the community is something that Officer Stavro and the police departments in Wil­mington and Tewksbury es­pecially value.

“I like this event a lot because it gives people a chance to talk to us on a personal level,” he said. “The chief’s there, the deputy chief… they can tell us their concerns and learn what exactly we’re doing.”

Even more important is the work that both departments do promoting community engagement as a whole.

“Seeing the crowd, how much fun the kids have, and hearing after the fact what a great time people had — that makes it worth it,” Stav­ro mentioned.

Wilmington’s National Night Out will conclude with a showing of Zootopia at 8 p.m.

(1) comment

Johndeonn

Deputy Chief Andrew Hock said that the purpose of the event is for residents to come and talk with the police without officers wearing a uniform. Members of the community can speak with them about safety or any other concerns within the area in a relaxed environment. In my view taking the opinion of the rush essay with free draft before such meetings is important.

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