Print Firefighters, cops prepare for National Night Out
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 07:00

Cottonwood police and fire officials will greet the public, enjoy free food and watch children play during a celebration of service at the 27th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Those who attend will get a chance to meet the police officers and firefighters sworn to protect the community, learn about the services they provide and find out new ways to keep neighborhoods safe from drugs and crime.

The event unfolds at Kids Park, near 12th and Cherry streets, starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.
Free hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, water and popcorn will be provided along with free entertainment like face painting, a bounce house, a dry slide and a climbing wall.

More than 700 people showed up for the fun last year, and organizers hope to attract up to 1,200 this year, according to worker Richard Shay.

Learning from the experience last year, organizers will set up two grills instead of one. One will be staffed by Knights of Columbus and the other by a local market and deli to keep people moving through the food lines, Shay said.

Roughly 3.4 million people in more than 15,000 communities are expected to take part this year, he said. The purpose of National Night Out is to promote partnerships between police and the community and to educate the public about crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood unity, he said.

“Crime is actually a com-munity problem, not a police problem,” Shay said. “Therefore, it requires a community solution.”

“The most violent element of our society today is not guns, drugs or gangs. It is apathy,” Shay said.
People are very quick to complain about their rights being violated, but few talk about their responsibilities to the community, he said.

In addition to officers and firefighters in uniform, volunteers from community organizations like the Methamphetamine Advisory Task Force, Yavapai County Health Department, Cottonwood Public Library and others will staff informational booths and displays.

For more information, call 639-0415.