Township and police to host National Night Out

Event offers interaction between law enforcement, residents.

Mount Laurel Township and Mount Laurel police will host the annual  National Night Out event Tuesday after a two-year COVID hiatus.

National Night Out was initiated in the U.S. by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) in 1984, as a community event to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement. The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states.

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The event is free to attend and will take place on August 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the township municipal complex, 100 Mount Laurel Road. Parking will be available at 10000 and 15000 Midlantic Drive.

National Night Out enables residents to interact with township officers through an evening of activities and giveaways, including free face painting, pretzels, Pelican’s SnoBalls, a DJ and food trucks. 

Police cruisers and fire trucks will also be at the event for residents to interact with, along with the police department’s canine officers.

Township departments at the event will include Mount Laurel’s fire department, its Emergency Management Services and members of the  Diversity and Inclusion Board. Council members will also be in attendance.

Residents will have the opportunity to speak with officers and first responders, and learn about different departments. Volunteer information for both fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) departments will be available.

Kyle Gardner, public relations officer for the police department, noted that the event’s goal is to help the police department show transparency to residents and improve relations with the community.

“You can never have enough positive interactions with the community,” he said. “We want people to feel comfortable to approach us, because we’re here for them and we want them to feel a connection with us.” 

Gardner emphasized that building a rapport with residents is crucial to a  good relationship between the department and the community.

“I think having events like this, especially with how big of a town Mount Laurel is, is important, because it makes the community feel like a small town, where it seems like everyone knows each other,” he noted.

“We’re so lucky to have such a great community, and we love doing events like this because we want to show our appreciation for them,” Gardner added. 

“We look forward to having everyone there and having a good time.”

For updates on National Night Out, visit the Mount Laurel police and township websites and Facebook pages.

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