FLINT TWP. — Sixty lucky children walked away with free bikes, courtesy of the Target Corporation, a major sponsor of the annual National Night Out (NNO) event hosted last week by the Flint Township Police Department.
“We are very pleased with the turnout,’’ said Police Chief George Sippert. “We were hopeful when we partnered with Swartz Creek and Mundy Township (police departments) that we would get more residents.”
Participations of business vendors also increased this year, he said.
“We hope to keep building on it. It is a time when the entire community can come together and help nurture partnerships and relationships with police officers,” Chief Sippert said.
Target underwrote expenses for the eighth year at the police station event but has supported NNO since its inception in 1981, said Natalie Nagy, who oversees the law enforcement protection group and human resources at the Miller Road Target store.
“Target is a proud partner and we are always happy to give back,” she said.
Besides free food, participants enjoyed numerous giveaways, a dunk tank; bounce house, a police dog demonstration, line dancing, tours of police and fire vehicles and more.
“We are here to promote community awareness and public safety,’’ said Swartz Creek officer Lt. Matthew Bade, who showed children tactical gear, evidence bags and defibrillators and handed out free sticker badges.
Mundy Township Officer Randy Gage, who is the community resource officer at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School, also was there handing out coloring books, safety sticker badges and literature about bicycle safety, Internet safety, walking home safely and tips on being at home alone.
“Whenever I see children, I like to give them items to remember me by, with a smile, that police officers are your friends and helpers,” he said.