Events take stand on crime
August 3, 2012 4:42PM
Kids prepare to get inside the LifeStar emergency air ambulance, one of the many attractions, at Channahon’s National Night Out against crime. | Kris Stadalsky ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:05AM
Channahon police officers and staff members were serving the community in a different way last Wednesday night — serving up hot dogs and bottles of ice cold water.
Food was just one of the things the Channahon Police Department had for community members during its annual National Night Out against crime event.
There were all sorts of things to do, including a car show, musical entertainment by Acoustic Avenue, tours of the police department, a bounce house and even a dunk tank. The evenings’ celebrity dunkee was Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil.
Will County Emergency Management Agency’s brand new 46-foot mobile command center was on site for everyone to check out, as were several emergency vehicles from the Channahon Fire Protection District (including their fire safety house) and a LifeStar air helicopter ambulance.
Inside the mobile command center, video screens lined one wall. Each screen showed multiple views of the vehicle’s perimeter. It looked like the worldwide computer surveillance system in the new hit series “Person of Interest.”
Behind the municipal building, Channahon police cadets were helping golf cart drivers navigate between a series of cones while wearing goggles that simulated being intoxicated.
Fifteen-year-old Sydney Beeler, who recently completed driver’s training, got behind the wheel four different times. She thought the experiment was fun and managed to drive without knocking down cones. But she definitely felt weird and her vision was affected, she said.
The activities were meant to not only bring out the neighbors and build camaraderie, but for them to get to know the emergency services that are available in town, said Channahon Village President Joe Cook.
“There’s a little something for everybody,” Cook said.
The 29th annual Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday. Communities all around the nation put on events such as Channahon’s to promote community and neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
Last year 15,000 communities participated in some form or another from flashlight walks to block parties to full-blown events.
The programs are meant to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness and to foster support for local crime prevention programs. It’s also a way to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organizing and fighting back.
Police officer John Blough, who was in charge of organizing Channahon’s event, was thrilled with the community turnout and support.
“The whole point is to bring out the community and stand up against crime,” he said.
If you missed out on Channahon’s Night Out, Minooka’s is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lion’s Park on McEvilly Road.
Back this year will be rides on the trackless train along with McGruff the Crime Dog. There will be a chalk walk and glow stick walk along the path, a DJ spinning records, Minooka fire trucks and great things to eat for everyone like hot dogs and burgers right off the grill, popcorn and snow cones.
Lion’s Park has the great splash pad for kids, so bring along a bathing suit if it’s another hot one. Then starting at dusk the movie “Up” will be showing under the stars.
The Minooka Police Department takes a stand against crime, said Community Policing Officer Denis Tatgenhorst, and invites neighbors to join in giving crime and drugs a going away party.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at email@example.com.