Sponsored by the Morris County Park Police and the Morris County Park Commission
Morris County’s ‘National Night Out’’ event, held each year as part of a nationwide community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships, has received a national award for its 2016 event, marking over a decade of recognition for this effort to make Morris County a better place to live.
Hosted by the Morris County Park Police and the Morris County Park Commission, the 2016 Morris County-wide ‘National Night Out,’ which drew more than 5,000 residents, made the National Association of Town Watch’s list of the best in the nation.
Each year since 2002, the Morris County-wide event, which takes place at Mennen Sports Arena, has been a National Award Winner.
“We are very proud of the continuing recognition for Morris County’s ‘National Night Out program’,’’ said Park Police Chief Gabe DiPietro. “It is especially gratifying because it recognizes our successful efforts to offer a fun and meaningful array of activities and education that connects our county residents to a host of community services. The success of the event is due to the participation of numerous county and municipal police and emergency response agencies, in addition to community service organizations.’’
“National Night Out’ is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships to create safer neighborhoods. In 1984, its charter year, 400 communities in 23 states participated nationally in this special program.
“This event is an important connector between our residents and the county’s great compliment of police, firefighters, EMTs,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “It gives our first responders a chance to meet face-to-face with our residents, especially our young people, and to give them a first-hand demonstration of their capabilities.’’
“In 2016, the event attracted over 5,000 people, and the numbers grow each year. People are not only entertained, but are delighted to learn about the many community agencies, services, and support that is available to them,” stated Dave Helmer.
Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission
“At the end of the day, it’s about building stronger and safer communities through relationships. We are so very proud on behalf of the Morris County Park Police, to receive this prestigious award, and look forward to the 2017 event.”
Last year, the event attracted over 38.5 million people nationally, including residents, law enforcement and first responder agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials in more than 10,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
‘National Night Out,’ held on the first Tuesday in August, is a free event offering amusements, food, entertainment, ice skating, giveaways, demonstrations, and attractions. Numerous municipal, county and state agencies participate, giving the public opportunities to explore police, fire, and emergency, military, and rescue vehicles, used by these departments throughout Morris County.
The Mennen Sports Arena is part of the Morris County Park Commission‘s vast array of indoor and outdoor recreational venues. The Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 18,927 acres at 38 distinct sites, and offers a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy! The kick-off celebration for the week began with the message "Catch the Wave of Kindness" and staff and students dressed in vacation wear! Husdon Maxim students competed in the Great Kindness Challenge by filling out the KINDness Checklist with ideas to spread kind acts and also by bringing in pop tabs to donate to the local Ronald McDonald House charities.