Norristown, Plymouth hold National Night Out events
First responders, public servants and community groups teamed up for National Night Out crime awareness and prevention events across Montgomery County Aug. 5.
Hundreds showed up at the Metroplex in Plymouth Township and on the 1300 block of Willow Street in Norristown for food, fun and freebies.
The Target parking lot in Plymouth was cordoned off as police motorcycles, firetrucks from the Plymouth and Harmonville fire companies and Plymouth’s famous pink ambulance shared space with a Q102 music booth, food vendors from Target and Chick-filA and over a dozen tables staffed by community advocates and representatives from various government agencies.
Highlights of the festivities included a repelling demonstration from a fully extended engine ladder by Plymouth firefighters and the landing of a PennStar helicopter.
“It’s so important for people to come out, meet their neighbors, get to know local law enforcement and to know what’s available to them,” said County Commissioner Leslie Richards, who attended the event along with fellow commissioner Josh Shapiro. “The sheriff’s office is out here, victim’s services, the health department, aging and adult services, the DA’s office. It’s just so important for people to know all the resources and everybody who’s working together to keep them safe in our community.”
“I want to thank the Plymouth Police Department which keeps us safe every day ... for them to come out on a night like tonight and just have fun with the community is really terrific,” Shapiro said
In Norristown, National Night Out took on the look and feel of an old-fashioned block party — partially because of the Willow Street locale, but also because of the live music, dancing and massive grill being manned by local volunteers. Police Chief Mark Talbot and fire Chief Thomas O’Donnell were on hand to welcome residents, as local church representatives and public service personnel handed out literature and conversed with community members at curbside tables.
Children got their faces painted and scurried in and out of a two-tiered fire department vehicle where they could simulate safely escaping from a burning building.
“It’s great to see lots of places around our county engaged with our public safety community in a way that’s fun, interactive and friendly,” said Shapiro, “And that’s what it’s all about.”
National Night Out is the brainchild of Wynnewood, Pa,. native Matt Peskin. He came up with the idea to hold grassroots get-togethers as a way for the community to interact with law enforcement and stand as a united front against would-be criminals.
This year, approximately 37 million people were expected to take part in the National Night Out activities across the country.
A child wears her fire helmet backwards as she and others celebrate National Night Out on the 1300 block of Willow Street in Norristown Aug. 5.