BERLIN – The Berlin Police Department will once again promote community partnerships with a National Night Out celebration in August.
As it has for more than two decades, the Berlin Police Department will spend the first Tuesday in August at Henry Park to mark National Night Out. Officers will be joined by a variety of local organizations and businesses that will offer free food, educational information and other family friendly displays. The festivities will run Aug. 7 from 4-7 p.m. at the park on Flower Street.
“There’s something for everybody,” Officer Claude Holland said. “It’s just a good way to meet the police officers and for us to let people know we’re not just out to write tickets. We’re friends. We’re part of the community.”
Holland said the National Night Out program was created to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness and to strengthen police and community partnerships.
“It’s organized to bring the community and police together, to build better relationships,” he said.
As of this week, Holland said 25 organizations had already signed up for the Aug. 7 event in Berlin. He said the Maryland State Police would be represented, as well as the Berlin Fire Company and several other law enforcement agencies. Sonrise Church will be cooking and distributing hot dogs while Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services will serve snow cones.
The event will feature a variety of children’s games and activities, including face painting and a bounce house. Five lucky kids will also go home with new bicycles. Holland said that kids in attendance would each be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the bikes, which were donated by the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
Holland said the popularity of Berlin’s National Night Out event had grown tremendously in the past 10 years.
“It used to be we had to look for people to come,” he said. “Now people are calling us almost until the last day.”
As the number of partnering agencies has increased so has attendance. Holland says the event draws people from all over Berlin, from infants to the elderly.
“We even set up a tent with tables and chairs for the seniors because it’s usually very hot,” he said.
The department is expecting at least 500 attendees at National Night Out in Berlin this year.
A variety of other local law enforcement agencies will also host National Night Out events on Aug. 7. In Snow Hill, the police invite the community to Byrd Park from 5-8:30 p.m. In Ocean Pines, the police will set up for National Night Out at White Horse Park from 5-7 p.m., while in Salisbury police invite the public to Salisbury City Park from 5-8 p.m.