Deptford’s National Night Out on Aug. 2 drew dozens of people to the recreation center who hung out with friends and family while learning what the township has to offer.
The ceremony kicked off with the police department color guard presenting the flags of both the state and nation as the national anthem played in the background.
“I love events like this,” said officer Luke Ivey, a color guard member. “I feel like they’re great for the community and I feel like it’s a great opportunity for the police department to be in the community and get to know (it) better.”
“I think it provides great community support for kids and the community,” said event attendee Megan Briggs. “It also provides (the chance) for the people of the community to meet the public officials such as the mayor and police and to (help them) feel comfortable in their town.”
Besides free food and drinks at National Night Out, there were tents that featured township services and businesses. Emergency personnel offered a glimpse of what their jobs entail, displaying a medevac helicopter and a smoke house provided by the fire department to simulate the experience of being inside a burning building.
“I’m hoping that they’ll be able to connect better with their local emergency services and hopefully get to know their local police a little bit better,” said Ivey. “I’m hoping to teach people that members of their community are probably much like them – more than they realize.”
The Philadelphia Flyers Community Caravan enabled guests to shoot hockey pucks and even get signatures from former players, namely Bob “The Hound” Kelly, Riley Cote and Doug Crossman. The Phillie Phanatic was also on hand with goofy antics that pleased the crowd.
National Night Out has been held at the recreation center to better accommodate the influx of people.
“Everyone has been very respectful and responsible,” said Briggs. “I think it’s a great turnout. There’s so many people from the community here, and I think that this is a great event that they are offering.”