Big turn out for National Night Out in city
National Night Out is hosted by law enforcement agencies across the country each year to promote partnerships between communities and local police, generate support for anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and increase awareness about drug and crime prevention.
The event was held for the fifth straight year in the city on Tuesday co-hosted by the Gloversville Police Department and Gloversville Neighborhood Watch featuring an array of child and family friendly activities.
“I think we’ve got a good crowd,” Capt. Anthony Clay said roughly an hour into the event on Tuesday. “I’m really impressed and really thankful for all of the agencies that came to help out.”
Although the event ultimately ended a couple of hours early due to severe weather, earlier in the evening kids and families across the park took an up close look at emergency vehicles and equipment, visited tables featuring information and activities organized by local community groups and organizations, enjoyed free ice cream donated by Stewart’s Shops, participated in a variety of sports organized by the Gloversville Enlarged School District Athletics Department and were entertained by a live performance by the band Flame.
“Seeing it come together and really having that feeling of the community coming together and helping us pull this off is probably what I enjoy the most,” Clay said.
Clay expressed his gratitude to all of the members of the police department who over the past four months volunteered their time to help organize the event and Sgt. Darren Coupas who played an integral role in the planning and execution. The hard work paid off as Clay watched members of the force tossing around a football with local kids.
“They’re interacting with law enforcement and emergency services in a way I don’t think they often get to. Unfortunately we see a lot of people in a time of crisis and emergencies,” Clay said. “This is a fun night to get together.”
Fire Chief Thomas Groff said the sense of community spirit during National Night Out is what inspires members of the Gloversville Fire Department to come out each year.
“It’s a special event,” Groff said. “It shows our support for the police department and the community can get to know us.”
“It’s nice in the last few years that Gloversville has really picked up the pace in terms of having community events that get people out,” he added.
A short distance away the Salvation Army of Gloversville handed out grilled hot dogs to those in attendance, an annual tradition Capt. Wendy Senior said she was happy to be able to continue.
“Anything that promotes kids and safety I’m all for,” Senior said, pointing to the police department’s Child Safe ID station in particular as a great service to local parents.
“I like seeing all the happy faces,” Senior added as all over Darling Field locals could be seen having a good time, including three generations of the Karas family.
The family from Gloversville had never attended National Night Out before, but after her daughter Ashley Karas showed her all of the activities that would be going on Tuesday, Sue Karas said they knew it was an event her grandchildren Emily and Mason Karas would enjoy.
National Night Out proved to be a hit with five-year-old Emily Karas who said her favorite part of the event was having her face painted by Extreme Ink and two-year-old Mason Karas who said his favorite part was seeing the fire trucks displayed by the Gloversville Fire Department.
“We’re having a good time,” Sue Karas said. “We would definitely come back next year.”