The Township of North Bergen had 100 police officers volunteering their time across seven sites dedicated to celebrating the annual National Night Out against crime. Sponsored content.
“National Night Out is a national event, the premise is a crime prevention event: get out, meet your neighbors, meet your police department,” Police Chief Robert Dowd said at the Lawler Senior Citizen building event on Grant Street last night.
“We’re a very busy, active department: over 115,000 calls for service last year. So a lot of times people don’t get to see us in the best of times. They call us when there’s a critical incident or there’s an emergency. It’s nights like tonight that we can get out and really mesh with the community, get to know them on a one-to-one basis.”
Dowd and other North Bergen officials, including Mayor/state Senator (D-32) Nick Sacco, Commissioners Frank Gargiulo, Hugo Cabrera, Allen Pascual and Julio Marenco, as well as Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), held raffles at each location where residents won prizes ranging from gift cards to bicycles.
“This is a great event that’s held every year, National Night Out on crime. It’s very important to the communities to show them law enforcement is here to serve all of them and we’re friends,” Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari said at the Meadowview Village.
That particular venue featured a DJ, a rock climbing wall, a water slide and a small locomotive ride for children. Each location also featured several volunteers serving hamburgers, hot dogs, hot pretzels and other refreshments.
“People get to meet the police department in a very friendly manner. There’s 100 cops who volunteered today and that’s almost the entire force because there are 15 on duty who couldn’t volunteer,” Sacco explained at the Kennedy School event, which featured a moon bounce.
“So we really have a great turnout and people get to meet with them. Plus, it’s a fun night for the community members to get together, they get to meet their neighbors and it works out really, really well – I’m very happy the way this is going.”