Photo by Nicole Gugino OBSERVER City Editor From left to right: Officer Shane Carlson, Chief David Ortolano, Lt. Mark Timmerman, Councilwoman Stacy Szukala
On Tuesday August 2nd the City of Dunkirk will be joining 30 million other citizens from over 9000 communities nationwide in celebrating National Night Out. This is the 23rd year that the Dunkirk Police Department is sponsoring Night Out in the City of Dunkirk.
National Night Out is designed to give strength to neighborhood crime and drug prevention efforts and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and not afraid to fight back. Our National Night Out program is directly correlated to our neighborhood watch programs that are active throughout the community.
On Tuesday August 2nd citizens in Dunkirk will be locking their doors, turning their lights on and spending the evening with their neighbors, Police Officers, Firefighters and City Officials. Again this year we will have one centralized Night Out location at Washington Park. This will be the fifth year we have done the central location and we encourage everyone to come to Washington Park for the evening. Our coordinators will be working together on this event and we ask that anyone who can assist to please come to the Park before the event begins to help with set up. Also as in the past we also appreciate anyone who can to bring a desert to pass. The coordinators, who are the same dedicated citizens who work on our neighborhood watch program, donate a tremendous amount of time and work to this program every year, my hat is off to them as they make it all happen. The coordinators along with the support of the local businesses who donate to our program truly make Night Out the success that it is.
The Police Department will be at Washington Park during the evening with patrol cars, McGruff the crime dog you can meet our K-9 Nico as well. Everyone from our Senior
K9 Officer Matt Hazelton with K9 Nico
Citizens down to small children will have the opportunity to meet and interact with our Police Officers, this emphasizes the importance of the Police community partnership and pride in the community and allow for positive interaction between our citizens and our Police Officers. Also participating again this year will be the Dunkirk Fire Department. The Fire Department has joined forces with us and their participation is a huge success, it is important to show that we all are committed to making our community a safe place. The interaction between the Police Officers, Firefighters, City Officials and community residents build positive relationships that will benefit the entire community.
As an added bonus again this year we will have music by Nick and Andy and we have coordinated with the Recreation Department to have the Movie in the Park series at dusk to cap off our Night Out event. This year the movie will be Zootopia. We will have picnic tables to sit on or you can bring a blanket or lawn chair to the Park to sit on and enjoy the Movie.
***Again this years celebration will be held at Washington Park and we encourage everyone from all Wards of the City to attend. Night Out celebration will start at about 6:30PM with our usual activities and then cap off the night with a movie in the park featuring Zootopia at dusk (approx. 8:30PM).
**Washington Ave. will be barricaded between Fifth and Sixth Streets and Fifth Street will be barricaded from Washington Ave. to Park Ave. to allow those attending Night Out a place to park. There is also plenty of parking in the surrounding area around Washington Park for everyone to attend the celebration.
Also as a reminder the coordinators could use a little extra help and we ask anyone with a few minutes to show up a little early and help with set up or stay a few minutes afterwards and help with clean up. We also stress that parents do not send their children alone to the events, this program in devised to show the children the importance of the community working together.
A strong Police/Community partnership within the community is the best weapon we have in keeping our City safe. It only takes a few minutes of time to get out and get involved and make a difference in the community. We have seen a very large change in the program over the years and more families are becoming involved, that is what this program is all about. As the program grows so does our commitment to working together to keep the community safe.
The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support and dedication over the years. Our many thanks to Tops Markets – manager Jay Knavel, WalMart-manager Brad Balentine, Southpaw Signs- Cody Britton, P&G Foods- Gary and Patty Damico, Paper Factory- Bruce & Ann Mulkin, Save A Lot- Kevin Connelly, McDonalds Restaurant, G&E Tents- Bob Bankowski & Bob Karin, Music by Nick&Andy, Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak, Awesome Bouncers – Jason Genovese, Atlas Comfort Cabins – Roger Gloss and Dave & Gina Kron from Tim Hortons. Many of these sponsors have been part of National Night Out for a very long time and they donate services, food & refreshment items or financial support for our program, we could not have the success we do without their support. A special thanks to WDOE/96KIX FM , Access 12, The Observer, the City Administration and our DPW and Parks Departments for all their support over the years. We are truly lucky to have the entire community take part in this event, together we will continue to make a difference one neighborhood at a time.