National Night Out runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Target parking lot, at 5584 Dressler Road NW. The purpose of the festival is to explain to people how the county is patrolled and to foster relationships among residents and public safety officials in an effort to reduce crime.
Local law-enforcement agencies are inviting county residents to an afternoon full of safety demonstrations and free food.
National Night Out runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Target parking lot, at 5584 Dressler Road NW. The purpose of the annual festival is to explain to people how the county is patrolled and to foster relationships among residents and public safety officials in an effort to reduce crime.
“People seem to enjoy it,” Sharon George, director of the Safe Communities Coalition based out of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, said. “It gives them a chance to have face-to-face time with a lot of the community organizations and share their concerns.”
The primary agencies present will be the North Canton Police Department and the Jackson Township Police Department, members of whom have been helping plan the event, said Jim Knight, crime prevention specialist with Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero’s office. There will also be representatives from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.
Tuesday’s festival will feature free hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers from a Target-sponsored cookout. Quaker Steak and Lube and Angry Barbeque are also catering, George said.
In terms of health and safety, there will be free child fingerprinting, car-seat safety checks, blood pressure and body mass index screenings, traffic safety demonstrations and gun safety demonstrations.
Several public safety vehicles — including a boat from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft — will also be on display.
In addition, Jackson Township’s Special Weapons and Tactics team will demonstrate how its members attempt to disorient and disarm a suspect.
Knight said the benefit of the event is it allows county residents to get to know police prior to an emergency situation.
“I just think it’s really a good way for them to meet their law enforcement officials at a fun and safe envirnment and get a chance to learn more about them,” he said.
National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania dedicated to crime prevention, began National Night Out in 1984. Its website estimates the event involves 37 million people in 15,000 communities across the country and in U.S. territories and Canada.
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