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National Night Out events focuses on children interacting with police

July 06, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Waynesboro and Greencastle will participate in National Night Out on Aug. 3, with activities designed to foster relationships with police planned in both communities.

Waynesboro police spokeswoman Kim Green said the department hasn't hosted National Night Out events in her seven-year tenure, but she's heard Center Square was closed periodically before that for similar activities.

"Something like this was done in the past," she said.

Waynesboro police will display emergency vehicles, host games, and work with Communities That Care to fingerprint and photograph children for identification kits. They'll register bicycles for a database designed to help police return lost or stolen bicycles to their owners.

National Night Out is meant to allow children to interact in a positive manner with police officers, Green said.

"We want to let kids know police officers are not the bad guys. They're your friends," she said.

Greencastle police participated in National Night Out a few times previously, but not in the past couple of years, according to police secretary Nicole Bowser.

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"We will be concluding a scavenger hunt that we have for the 'junior detectives' of Greencastle," Bowser said.

Starting July 26, children from kindergarten through 12th grade can pick up a "passport" from the police department. They'll be given clues guiding them to area businesses that have stamps for the passport booklet.

A drawing for scavenger hunt prizes will be held during National Night Out, Bowser said. The first 100 participants to pick up a passport will receive a bag with goodies, she said.

The department will accept medication in need of proper disposal during a "take back," Bowser said.

As a fundraiser for park safety, people can "jail" their friends and family, then "bail" them out for a small fee, according to Bowser. There also will be a booth where water is dropped on participants' heads, she said.

Green and Bowser said National Night Out can help people develop relationships with officers and generate support for anti-crime efforts.

"National Night Out is all about getting the community to know the police department," Bowser said.

The Franklin County Housing Authority will hold its National Night Out event in Meadow Creek Manor.

Press materials stated 36.7 million people in 14,625 communities participated in National Night Out last year.




IF YOU GO...



National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3

o Waynesboro, Pa.

6 to 8 p.m.

Memorial Park

Free hot dogs and ice cream, child identification kits and bicycle safety

o Greencastle, Pa.

5 to 8 p.m.

Center Square and part of South Carlisle Street

Medication take-back, scavenger-hunt drawing, dunking booth, and "jail and bail"

o Chambersburg, Pa.

4 to 8 p.m.

Meadow Creek Manor behind Big Lots

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