EAST PROVIDENCE — The fourth annual local version of “National Night Out,” presented by the the East Providence Police Department’s Community Policing Division and the East Providence Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, went off without a hitch Tuesday evening, Aug. 6, on the Senior Center grounds located off Waterman Avenue.
The 2013 edition was the second to be held at the Senior Center, following two years of the event taking place at Riverside’s Larisa Park, and was by far more successful than its predecessor at the central locale. Organizers estimated nearly 400 children and their families took part in the festivities on what was near perfect summer evening in city.
“We count the number of people by how many hot dogs we’ve served and we’re well over 300 so far,” EPCPAAA member Rosemary Oliver said in the latter stages of the event.
Tuesday’s attendance mirrored the crowds that gathered during the first two years of the “Night Out,” when some 350-400 people typically showed up, according to EPPD Sergeant John Andrews, a member of the Community Policing Unit.
“This is double the amount of people we had last year, at least. We’ve been blessed. The weather has been good now for all four years, ” Sgt. Andrews added. “Congratulations to the CPAAA for putting on a great event.”
Across the country, the “Night Out” was celebrating its 30th year. “National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event held the first Tuesday of August. The “National Night Out” has been held annually since 1984 and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada.
The “Night Out” is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, child identification and other anti-crime efforts. Target Department Store is the national sponsor of the event and locally as well along with the EPCAAA.
In city Tuesday activities included music, a bouncy house and slide for kids. Ice cream was provided by Monroe Dairy. New York Life insurance offered electronic fingerprinting and identification for children. Young and old alike could enjoy the antique cars and fire apparatus on display. A number of the EPPD’s specialty vehicles were also available for viewing.