Volunteer bit by police dog during National Night Out
A community event designed to generate goodwill with local law enforcement took an unexpected turn Tuesday evening.
An adult male was transported to Faith Regional Health Services following a bite by a police service dog during the annual National Night Out at Central Park in Norfolk.
The male, identified by several witnesses as Bob Lowe, the District 7 deputy chief probation officer, had volunteered to wear protective bite equipment to assist with a demonstration involving the canine.
Capt. Mike Bauer with the Norfolk Police Division said that during the second demonstration of the evening, the dog bit the volunteer in the lip and caused an injury.
Norfolk Fire & Rescue personnel, on-site already for the festivities, treated Lowe at the scene and transported him to Faith Regional.
Witnesses to the incident said they were initially unaware that Lowe had been injured, as he appeared calm in front of the crowd.
When asked about whether Lowe had put on a brave face for the children watching the demonstration, Bauer said “I think that observation is probably correct.”
THE EVENT was otherwise a great success.
Bauer estimated about 225-250 community members took part in the National Night Out from 6-8 p.m., making up one of the largest crowds ever in Norfolk.
“We had great weather and a great turnout. We had our (Norfolk Police Division) command staff all there, along with some additional officers who were able to meet and mingle with the citizens that showed up, and I think everybody had a good time,” Bauer said.
Between the Norfolk police and troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol, there were about 12-15 officers at the park on Tuesday night, he said.
National Night Out is a nationwide crime and drug prevention event that is designed to heighten awareness and generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts. It is also intended to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
“It really gets the community members and the police out to meet and talk in one place. It’s especially good for interacting with the kids, so that children are more comfortable with police officers, and we really build that rapport during times like this,” Bauer said.
Nearly 40 civic and service organizations also were present to showcase what they have to offer in the community.
It was a law enforcement demonstration that proved to be the most popular Tuesday evening though.
“The state patrol’s rollover demonstration had kids lined up non-stop. They kept the demonstration rolling and the kids rolling the whole time. The fire division’s water hose fights were a really big hit, too,” Bauer said.
The 35th annual National Night Out was sponsored by the National Association Town watch and co-sponsored locally by the Norfolk Police Division.