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Deptford ‘night out’ a chance for community connections

Observance fosters ties between residents, law enforcement

A medevac helicopter landing and K-9 demonstrations will be part of Deptford’s annual National Night Out event on Tuesday.

The event is free and will include activities for both parents and kids. Free food with entertainment and games will be provided by the Philadelphia Flyers Community Caravan, according to the police department’s Facebook page.

“I’ve been in office for 16 years and we have done the event for almost all of it,” said Mayor Paul Medany.” “Everyone in the township will be there … It’s meant to be an awareness that provides education, as well as a good time.”

About 400 to 500 people are expected to attend National Night Out, according to Medany, who hosts the event along with council and the police department.  Emergency Services personnel and school board members will also be on hand. 

National Night Out is a country-wide annual observance that has been celebrated on the first Tuesday of August and October since the 1980s. But while it is meant to build connections between law enforcement and residents, there are concerns about safety this year given recent mass shootings in Illinois and Texas, as well as a record number of homicides in Philadelphia.

“Everyone’s gotta keep their head on a swivel,” said Medany. “But most of the police will be there, so it’s one of the safer places to be.”

“There’s gonna be a ton of cops there,” said Anthony Gatto, a Deptford police officer. “I also believe that there’s gonna be a lot of special divisions there, like SWAT and ERT (Emergency Response Team). 

“More for a show and tell with the community.”

National Night Out hours are 6 to 8 p.m. at the Deptford Recreation Center. For more information, visit the township’s website or Facebook page.

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