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Night Out builds ‘strong partnership’

As we close out our 29th year of National Night Out and begin to prepare for the 30th edition, I want to take a few minutes to reflect on this year’s amazing program.

This year’s National Night Out was very well attended and continues to grow every year. Even though we were scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. there was a crowd already forming at the park about 5 p.m. People came by the hundreds and they kept coming all night long.

As the night continued they did not want to leave, a large crowd stayed late into the night watching the movie and many just stayed and interacted with each other and our Police Officers. A proclamation from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office was read by Mo Sumbundu commending the National Night Out program.

We saw many familiar faces and many new faces and families throughout the night. There was a mix of citizens of all ages from babies to senior citizens, there were a lot of families with their children in attendance interacting with our Police Officers and Firefighters. It truly was a wonderful sight to see as unfortunately in law enforcement most of our interactions are not in a positive setting.

National Night Out is one of our programs that gives us the opportunity to have positive interaction with citizens, families and especially children and build a relationship that teaches the value of trusting in the Police Department. We constantly work with the community to send the message that we are here to keep it safe and the best way to do that is to have community support starting with the children all the way to our senior citizens. A strong partnership within the community is truly our best weapon in keeping it safe, it only takes a few minutes of time to get involved and make a difference.

Without the help of the community we would not have the success that we do in public safety. We have the best residents and businesses that any Police Department could ask for. They have always stood behind us, beside us and supported us for anything we have needed no questions asked!

We constantly receive thank yous of all kinds from our community. We have children waiving at patrol cars and there are so many citizens stopping our Officers to just say thank you and telling us they appreciate what we do that we can’t even keep count.

These are just a few examples of the acts of kindness that have been shown to the Police Department. This support from our community is second to none and we are very proud to have them standing behind us, it truly is a great feeling to know they take the time to let us know they appreciate what we do and in turn we will continue to do our best for them each and every day. This truly is what National Night Out is all about.

I want to commend every citizen that gets involved in crime prevention and steps up to make this community a safer place. I want to specifically thank the Night Out committee members Arlene Langendorfer, Ruby Green, Lorie Michalak Herman, Martha DeJesus and Officer Amy Noble for their hard work and outstanding dedication to our Night Out Program. Most of our committee members have been involved with our program for close to 20 years and Arlene has been a coordinator for the entire 29 years. Their dedication is amazing and we could not do this program without them. And a special thanks this year to Hope and Marcus from Cattoos who did face painting for several hours.

I want to commend and thank all of our police officers who have given their time to this program every year for the last 29 years, the large number of our current and retired officers who volunteer to participate each year shows their dedication to the Community they serve. This is their night to have positive interaction and show the fun human side of who we are as well. My thanks and respect to Fire Chief Mike Edwards and the Dunkirk Fire Department for their many years of participation, we have an outstanding relationship with our Fire Department and they have been a very welcomed addition to our Night Out activities.

The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our business sponsors for their support and dedication over the years, without them we would not enjoy the success we have. Our many thanks to Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak; Tops Markets – Scott Obert; WalMart – Brad Balentine; Southpaw Signs – Cody & Taylor Britton; McDonalds Restaurant, G&E Tents – Bob Bankowski & Bob Karin; Awesome Bouncers – Jason Jr. Jason Sr. & Sherry Genovese; Save a Lot – Kevin Connelly & James Bartlett; Atlas Comfort Cabins- Roger Gloss; The Rising Band – Frank Beach; Tim Hortons – Dave & Gina Kron; Robo Mart, Dollar General – Doreen Schwartz; Millers Apparel – Shirlene Miller; Wells Ice Cream – Meagen Cook.

I would also like to thank WDOE and Dave Rowley, the OBSERVER, Mayor Willie Rosas, Common Council Members Dave Damico, Natalie Luzkowiak, Marty Bamonto, Jidge Stoyle and Nancy Nichols along with our Parks Department, Recreation Department and DPW Department for all their support. This is truly a community event and with everyone working together we will continue to make a difference in making our community a safer place to live, visit and work in.

My personal thank you to everyone who attended Night Out and to our entire Community in keeping this program alive and so very successful.

David Ortolano is chief of the Dunkirk Police Department.

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