Families enjoy National Night Out
SCOTTSBLUFF — The community came out for a night of fun as the Scottsbluff Police Department and local businesses lined Broadway from 15th Street to 20th Street on Tuesday evening for Scottsbluff’s 21st annual National Night Out.
“National Night Out is focused on getting the community, especially the kids, involved with law enforcement in a positive way,” said Theresa Henkel, Scottsbluff Police Department administrative records technician.
The evening initiative is headed by the Scottsbluff Police Department to give the community’s youth a safe environment while encouraging interaction between the public and law enforcement outside of the workplace. This year’s event kicked off at 6 p.m., downtown Broadway.
While Scottsbluff has activities for the youth, Henkel said National Night Out is a free event, except for the food vendors. She also shared that the event continues to grow with approximately 100 vendors and over 1,000 people participating in Tuesday’s event.
Local businesses and community groups organized activities from a bean bag toss to face paintings as well as handing out freebies to youth. The Scottsbluff and Gering police departments were present along with the Nebraska State Patrol. Henkel said the event allows law enforcement to interact with the public in a relaxed environment and also allows them to talk about anything. Such interaction benefits not only the public, but also law enforcement as they interact one-on-one and become comfortable with law enforcement’s presence.
The evening was filled with family fun as National Night Out increases awareness about community policing and strengthens the bonds within the community.