Police sponsor Night Out

LEWISTOWN – Tuesday marked the 30th year of National Night Out throughout the U.S. Rec Park in Lewistown and Kish Park in Derry Township were packed with local police, emergency response personnel and local residents as held area events in conjunction with the national celebration.

Downtown Lewistown Inc. Executive Director Jim Zubler said this is the 11th year Lewistown has participated in National Night Out and it all started in a backyard on North Main Street.

“It grew to this event and I think what it does is brings community members, organizations and all those types of folks together to realize the power of community,” Zubler said.

Families with children were eating hot dogs, snow cones and cake while appreciating local law enforcement.

At Rec Park Lewistown Police Department had a free child identification kit available for parents to get their children fingerprinted.

Lewistown Police Chief Bill Herkert said they form a card and provide it to the parents. In the event that the child is missing, police will have immediate access to data.

“It’s bringing the community together by showing the strength of our neighborhoods and all the groups from the block watches that are here and the businesses to the abuse network and other community groups.” Herkert said, “It’s crime prevention but also building community strength.”

LPD, along with engines from local fire companies and Fame EMS, were present to show kids equipment and answer questions from the public.

Mifflin County Regional Police had numerous activities for families at Kish Park to celebrate the national event.

Jessica Aurand, who organizes Kops 4 Kids and works for MCRPD, said the event is for communities and individuals to come together.

“It’s kind of like a big block party for people to come out and meet their neighbors and unite against crime, and learn about block watch,” Aurand said.

Block watch groups were present at both events and were actively trying to gather new members. Block watch groups work to make the communities a safer place and they discussed their involvement within the communities.

National Night Out is about local law enforcement but the local law enforcement also had activities planned for the community.

The Fresh Food 5K started at the farmers market at Rec Park and took place through Lewistown. At Kish Park, MCRPD had a family scavenger hunt with park history questions to help educate residents about the park’s history.