Good guys on display at Night Out

August 02, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION |

SMITHSBURG — Richard Yoder’s 3-year-old son, Travis, walked around a gigantic monster truck known as “Storm Damage” in Veterans Park Tuesday evening.

It was all part of the fun associated with National Night Out, a national event designed to bring communities together for a blend of fun and crime prevention.

But Richard Yoder had his own reasons for coming to the event.

He said he wanted to bring Travis and his 2-year-old daughter, Jenna, to see “who the good people” are.

That way, if they ever get lost or in some other kind of trouble, they will know what a police officer or other emergency official looks like if they need help, Yoder said.

Officials were prepared to feed 400 people for free during the event, although Smithsburg Police Chief George Knight said hot weather might have kept the crowd size down.

Knight stood over a big grill along with other Smithsburg officials as he cooked hamburgers. A long line extended from the pavilion where Knight was grilling.

The hamburgers, hot dogs, cake and some of the drinks were provided by the Smithsburg Market, while other drinks were provided by retailer Target, the national sponsor of the event, Knight said.

People attending the event could see a Washington County Special Response Team vehicle, watch cardiopulmonary resuscitation demonstrations, get tips on crime prevention and hear a talk about gangs.

“We want to educate but we also want to have fun,” Knight said.

Local resident Tim Mente parked his monster truck in the park’s parking lot for the evening. Kids played around the giant tires on the truck, and others snapped pictures of it.

Kids bounced in an inflatable hut, and fire crews brought firefighting vehicles to the event.

“I think it’s a nice way for the people to come together,” said Judy Brown of Smithsburg.

Brown said she liked the ability to learn about crime trends and was anxious to see a canine demonstration by the Hagerstown Police Department.

“I love dogs and to see them interact like they do,” Brown said.

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