Regional police hosts two National Night Out events
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Defying the general laws of physics and having a great time doing it, the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department celebrated the annual National Night Out by managing to be in two places at once this past week, by holding simultaneous events in Toughkenamon and West Grove on Aug. 7.
Held for the first time in Toughkenamon, the event encompassed the entire parking lot at the rear of the Toughkenamon Town Center, and estimates put the crowd at 300. It featured a generous overlap of local businesses, organizations and representatives from area law enforcement and fire companies. Members of the Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team gave tour of their SWAT vehicle display, and the Avondale Fire Company was on hand with a fleet of vehicles that were open for tours. The event also featured food trucks, children's activities and a performance by the band Shot in the Dark.
“This is huge for the Village of Toughkenamon,” said Sandy Lutz, regional police administrator and organizer for the Toughkenamon event. “Most of these visitors don't even know what businesses are in this area, and this gives them a chance to know their neighboring businesses and certainly, gives them an opportunity to get to know the members of their police department.”
When New Garden Township Supervisor Steve Allaband first heard that the regional police department was going to expand its national Night Out to Toughkenamon this year, he thought it was a great decision, and an important one.
“To my knowledge, Toughkenamon has never held a community event this large, and yet, events like this are all about building our communities,” Allaband said. “When you have this kind of interaction between the local government and your local police, you begin to build a sense of trust. In addition, Toughkenamon is on the verge of revitalization, and I think this could be the start of it. For me, it's about business. It's about revenue. It's about activities for kids. It's about spreading a sense of positive feelings.”
The West Grove National Night Out celebration, held in the town's center square for the second consecutive year, drew between 300 and 400 visitors, despite the threat of rain. It included tours of police vehicles and fire trucks from the West Grove Fire Department, police bicycle demonstrations, a moon bounce, food trucks, display tables from area businesses and a performance by the band Revolution Heroes.
“We're grateful to everyone who is participating in our second National Night Out in West Grove,” said Deputy Chief Michael King. “The turnout in West Grove has been fantastic. We have gotten nothing but cooperation and enthusiasm from our sponsors, community partners, local businesses, and obviously, our neighbors are certainly enjoying themselves.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.