Columbia Borough Police, represented by Ofc. Ed Mann and K-9 Max, welcome members of the community to the borough’s first-ever National Night Out event, scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Field.
By Krista Hurley
Each year, countless communities across the United States participate in the National Night Out, dubbed “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”
According to www.nationalnightout.org, “National Night Out is designed to heighten drug and crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back (by reporting crimes to the police).”
For the first time, the Columbia Borough Police are organizing a National Night Out for everyone in the borough of Columbia. Ofc. Ed Mann explained that adults, children, and families are encouraged to attend the event, which is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Field, located along Route 462 near 12th Street. In the case of severe weather, all activities will be canceled.
Handicapped parking will be available at the field, with limited off-street parking nearby. There will also be a free shuttle service provided from 5 to 9 p.m. for people attending National Night Out. The shuttle will make stops at the Turkey Hill Experience, 301 Linden St., and the National Watch and Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., before returning to Glatfelter Field. Community members may utilize the parking lots at those locations, and the last shuttle returning to these stations will depart Glatfelter Field at 8:45 p.m. St. John’s Herr Estate will provide a handicapped-accessible shuttle.
According to Mann, there is no cost for anything at National Night Out, as the purpose of the event is to strengthen community. “It’s about the community, and it’s from the community and for the community,” he said. In keeping with the theme, there will be two donation bins set up at the gates of Glatfelter Field, allowing community members to donate nonperishable food items, other goods, or finances to the local food bank and the Humane League.
More than 30 groups - Scout troops, St. John’s Herr Estate, a local martial arts studio, Boys and Girls clubs, various service organizations, and more - will have information tables set up. Mann pointed out that each group will also offer demonstrations or hands-on experiences.
Three fire companies will do demonstrations, and they will also have a smoke trailer on hand for youngsters to learn in a fun way how to make their way out of a burning building. An ambulance will be on site for youngsters to explore, and blood pressure testing and first aid will also be available. A mobile dental bus will be set up that evening, as well. There will also be a K-9 unit demonstration, and bike officers will offer information on bicycle safety.
Attendees may also relish the assortment of food that will be available at no cost. Mann said that hot dogs, snack packs, and beverages will be available.
Organizers stressed that the local installment of National Night Out will give community members the opportunity to enjoy themselves while becoming more familiar with area law enforcement and borough officials. “(We want people to gain) the understanding of what the town has to offer,” Mann said, adding that attendees will also be able to learn about Columbia’s crime watch organization and how to get involved.
More information may be obtained by contacting Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Facebook pages for the police department and for Max, the local police canine, at Canine Max 17512.