“National Night Out,” an annual nationwide effort aimed at promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live, will be celebrated from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 in both Knox and Clarion boroughs.
Police departments in both boroughs have through generous donations from the communities secured a large number of great prizes to given away to children at the events.
The Knox event will be held at Keystone Elementary School and the Clarion celebration will be held along Main Street.
Both events are scheduled to include law enforcement vehicles, firefighting vehicles and EMS vehicles (if available).
The Clarion event will include an inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable slide, inflatable bounce house, live music, free food, craft tables, child fingerprinting and a dunk tank featuring Clarion Borough Police Chief William H. Peck IV as one of the dunkees.
In Knox, borough police chief Nicole Bauer said, “During the evening’s activities we will have Knox Volunteer Fire Department, Knox EMS, Emlenton Fire Department, Shippenville/Elk Township Fire Department, Knox Police Department, the Clarion County Sheriff’s Department, McGruff The Crime Dog, the U.S. Army, the state Game Commission, Armstrong County K-9 Unit, the state police aviation unit, Stat MedEvac, Knox Library and others.”
Bauer added, “There will be airbrush tattoos, juggling and free hot dogs and drinks. The local Boys Scouts volunteered to cook the hotdogs for us.”
There also will be plenty of prizes for the younger visitors.
“We will have three Power Wheels, a trampoline, bikes and hoverboards for prizes,” said Bauer. “There will also be free fidget spinners, pencils, Frisbees and much more and everything is free.”
Both Peck and Bauer stressed the generosity of their respective communities made the events possible.
“We could not do this without the community’s support,” Peck said as he looked over the display of bicycles, Power Wheels and other prizes displayed outside the police station this week.
“Especially with the economy being the way it is, I know things are tight for everybody,” explained Peck. “But everyone was so generous. It amazes me.”
With cash donations in hand, Clarion Borough police officers went shopping and returned with quite the haul of goodies.
The total worth of the prizes in both Knox and Clarion is in the thousands of dollars.
“This event would not be possible if it hadn’t been for the generous donations from the local businesses and also Knox Borough Council for the help of funding this event,” said Bauer.
Clarion Borough Council President Carol Lapinto said she saw coverage of the National Night Out held in Emlenton last year and hoped the activity could be brought to Clarion this year.
“Our patrol officer Justin O’Neil was the chief of the Emlenton Police Department then and between him and Chief Peck, I believe this is going to be a really nice time for the community,” said Lapinto. “I hope we have a nice turn out.”
According to its website, National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
In order to partake in the event, Clarion Borough Council has rescheduled its August business meeting from Aug. 2 to 7 p.m. Aug. 3 in the basement meeting room of the Clarion Free Library.
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