Hundreds flock to Deptford’s National Night Out

Event included live music, demonstrations and more from community

Joseph Metz/The Sun. Deptford’s National Night Out featured demonstrations by groups in the community that included the First in Flight balloon crew.

Deptford Township hosted its annual National Night Out on Aug. 1 at the Deptford recreation center, where hundreds of residents gathered ahead of the 6 p.m. start time.

A national event that is simulated annually in towns all over the country on the first Tuesday of August, Night Out promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make towns safer and more caring places to live. 

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Deptford’s version celebrated the community and its local emergency services. First responders, police officers, firefighters and EMTs provided displays on what their jobs entail and activities for attendees.

Tents represented various township services like the lLibrary, the Army and First Harvest Federal Credit Union. The First in Flight hot-air balloon crew had a basket on display where people could stand and pull the handle that releases fire to keep a hot-air balloon afloat.

Demonstrations from emergency services included a K-9, an ambulance that showcased equipment and a fire department trailer.

“In Deptford Township, it’s really (meant) to promote public safety,” said Mayor Paul Medany of the event. “But it’s also about having fun.”

Other officials on hand were members of Deptford council and the board of education and Police Chief Joe Smith, among others. There was also a guest appearance from Phang the snake, official mascot for the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team.

“I think it’s pretty important,” said officer Anthony Gatto of Night Out. “It offers us the chance to interact with the community and breach that gap between all the services and let them know what we’re all about.”

“I’m hoping people get a strong sense of partnership and community and just enjoy each other’s company,” said Christine Toal, a volunteer for the Deptford Township Police Families Group who handed out items to guests.

“It makes me proud.”

Food for the event was provided by Mission BBQ, along with hot dogs, soft pretzels and drinks. Along with its offerings, it was pride in Deptford that helped make Night Out possible and a success in the first place.

“It makes me feel great about Deptford Township,” Medany noted. “The folks who live here, how many gathered – it’s just fantastic.”

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