Members of the community and local police and first-responders met in Community Park last night for the annual National Night Out event.
National Night Out is an annual event intended to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and to provide a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. As stated on the National Night Out website.
Members of the Jacksonville and South Jacksonville Police Departments, Jacksonville Fire Department, Chapin Fire and Rescue, and Beardstown Police Department were all in attendance.
The Air-Evac helicopter landed for display and the Central Illinois Community Blood Center’s Bloodmobile was on hand for blood donations.
Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford spoke on the event.
“It is a night out for law enforcement and community members to interact in a non law enforcement setting, having a good time, visiting all the different vendor booths, looking at the different squad cars, having a few snacks and just having a good time in general. If you could ask for a picture perfect National Night Out, I’d say tonight is pretty close to it.”
Children got the chance to make a project at the Home Depot Kids Craft Booth, tour the Jacksonville Fire Dept Smokehouse, take a free ride on the Big Eli Ferris wheel, and jump in a bounce castle.
The night was capped off by a surprise performance by The Jacksonville Drumline Institute which drew the complete attention of the large crowd.
Following the event, Chief Mefford had many thanks for all who attended.
“The turnout was wonderful tonight. We can’t thank the Citizens Police Academy Alumni and Crimestoppers enough for putting on this event, and all the members of local police forces that came out tonight to support the event, and all the community members who came out. This is exactly what National Night Out was made to be.”
The National Night Out event is held nationwide the first Tuesday in August each year.