NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21Alive) – Every year on the first Tuesday in August approximately 15,000 communities, including New Haven, recognize "National Night Out” to promote crime prevention, raise funds for police programs, and meet the public safety officials in their neighborhood.
"Other than events like this you can't really get to know the police officers very well because they're on duty and working,” said Kylene Cowan holding her daughter. “We lived in a shelter and every time they came over it was when bad things were going on, so it’s good for her to know the good sides of officers.”
Clarissa Scheumann echoed the same sentiments about her children. “I want them to know they’re safe if they have a problem.”
Part of New Haven's National Night Out is to meet the police department, and that includes their K-9 units which are giving bite demonstrations on how they attack criminals. The department was recently able to purchase two new K-9 officers, Armor and Henry, thanks to community donations.
"[The demonstrations are] so the citizens can see what the dogs actually do on the street. If it wasn't for the citizens of this community, a lot of businesses have donated money for the purchase of these last two dogs, and we want to show people what they get,” said Officer Scott Adam, Master K-9 Trainer for the New Haven Police Department.
Officers set up a dunk tank and caricature booth to raise money for the department’s K-9 unit.
City officials also created free Kid Care I.D. cards, complete with photo, finger print, and other important information.
“It's a great feeling knowing that if something did happen I have their information on file, it helps to find them, locate them, and it gives me a little bit more peace of mind that I don’t have to search and find pictures and try and remember everything about them,” said Scheumann.
Although officers say New Haven has a low crime rate, this one night out makes sure the community is safe every other night in.
"What it does it bring the community out to build the camaraderie, the neighborhood needs...so everybody knows each other, we know what to look for, is there somebody in the neighborhood that doesn't look right? It just gives us the things that we feel we have to have as neighborhoods and neighborhood associations,” said Michael Mowery.
The event featured free food, raffle tickets, a bounce house, informational booths and a live band. This was the 30th year for National Night Out.
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