HomeMedford NewsPolice and Community Join Forces for National Night Out

Police and Community Join Forces for National Night Out

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On Tuesday, Aug. 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., residents of Medford and the surrounding communities joined to partake in National Night Out at Freedom Park, an event designed to increase an awareness of local anti-crime efforts. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the U.S., these awareness efforts included drug, theft and burglary prevention as well as many other deterrents to common community problems.

“This is a great community, and during these uncertain times, it has always been supportive of us,” Chief of Police Richard J. Meder said. “Tonight, we get to enjoy each other’s company on a less professional level, and it’s important that we let the community know that we’re always here for them. There’s a lot of questions people want answered, and that’s what we’re here for.”

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Established in 1984, National Night Out also seeks to emphasize building partnerships between the police and the local community. As unsettling police reports continue to gain headlines across the country, the founding principles of National Night Out have proven just as important as ever now 32 years after its inception.

Spanning across 38 million neighborhoods and more than 16,000 communities nationwide, National Night Out has also provided a chance each year for neighbors and community members to meet, reconnect or mingle. Building strong camaraderie throughout the community is an important step toward achieving and maintaining safer, stronger communities.

“The event gives us the opportunity to interact with the public and for them to talk to us in a non-emergency setting,” Medford EMS Assistant Chief Jim Scott said. “It also gives us the opportunity to let the community know we’re always looking for new members.”

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At Medford’s hosting of National Night Out, local vendors, emergency service personnel and community organizations set up tents and tables to showcase their achievements and inform the community of their ongoing efforts. Activities such as moon bounces, face painting, bicycle safety courses and a dunk booth were available for children, and many vendors were present giving complimentary food items to both attendees and service members.

As those in attendance looked to the sky, they were also able to briefly witness a helicopter hoist demonstration by U.S. Coast Guard, and also to a view a suit worn by the state police bomb squad. Tanks, fire trucks and EMS vehicles were also on display.

In an attempt to thank the men and women who help protect the community, the Women’s Club of Medford created a giant thank-you card they had community members sign as they walked by their table. Each community member who signed the card received a “We Support Medford Police” wristband. The club plans to sell extra wristbands from the event at local stores and use the proceeds to have food delivered to the police department in a display of appreciation.

“I was at the event before the town council meeting, and it was great to see so many people there,” Mayor Jeffrey Beenstock said. “The event gets bigger and bigger each year, and I am really proud of the entire public service department, including the police, fire, EMS and all volunteers. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to come together and show support of our public safety department while having fun.”

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