National Night Out returns Aug. 7

Above, attendees pack into the Farmer’s Market Pavilion for the Fourth National Night Out event in 2017. The 2018 edition of Gloversville’s National Night Out will be on Aug. 7. (Leader-Herald file photo)

The Leader-Herald

staff reports

GLOVERSVILLE — The Elm Street pavilion will be transformed into a place for family fun on Aug. 7 as the Gloversville Police Department and Gloversville Neighborhood Watch join forces to host the annual National Night Out event.

National Night Out sees law enforcement agencies across the nation invite the public out for an evening of fun.

According to a news release from city police, the evening allows residents to join their neighbors in partaking in a crime and drug prevention event.

National Night Out involves over 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all 38 million people are expected to participate in this year’s events nationwide. National Night Out is nationally sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, Ring, Associa, Dietz & Wasson and co-sponsored locally by the Gloversville Police Department.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for — and participation in — local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and to send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, the release states

Gloversville Police Lt. Mike Shang said the department will once again be holding its popular bike auction during this year’s event. The department saves bikes that were found abandoned with no owner coming forward to claim them during the year to auction off during the event.

Shang said new this year will be haircuts for girls and women offered by the Doll House salon in Gloversville. The Fulton County Barber Shop will be on hand again this year to offer haircuts for boys and men.

Shang said both of the businesses offered their services to for the event.

“Fulton County Barber Shop did a lot of the boys and men’s haircuts, and [The Doll House] expressed an interest, so we reached out to them this year,” Shang said.

The event will again offer giveaways, free Stewart’s Shops Ice Cream, which the company donates; a live band, Child Safe ID, face painting, tabling by area community organizations and county departments. There will also be and a variety of departments including the city’s Department of Public Works, Gloversville and Johnstown Fire Departments and Ambulance Service of Fulton County.

“I think it casts a positive light and gets the community to know who our police officers are. We have a lot of new [officers], and some community members don’t know who they are.” Shang said.

He said having city police, the Ambulance Service of Fulton County and other emergency services within the county is helpful as well.

“It just strengthens that bond between us and the community,” he said.

Previous National Nights Out events in Gloversville have drawn a considerable crowd of people. Shang said this fact serves as a boost to the members of both the police and other emergency agencies who come to the event.

“It makes us feel great, it just shows us that the community supports us,” Shang said. “It gives us a chance that one night a year we kind of step outside of our roles and we’re able to interact in a friendly setting.”

Shang said the event also allows a platform for both kids and parents to ask questions of emergency responders in a friendly atmosphere.

Shang said he believes this friendly atmosphere is what keeps people coming back year after year.

“We offer the Safe Child ID, which the parents love. And I think the kids have a great time. They like seeing the police cars and the fire trucks and some of the equipment from the Department of Public Work,” he said.

Shang said the department as a whole has really helped himself and Sgt. Darren Coupas prepare for the event.

“For the second year in a row [Coupas] had a big part in it,” Shang said.

The National Night out will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion on Elm Street.