National Night Out returns on Aug. 3

A scene from National Night Out 2018 in Flint Township. File photo

A scene from National Night Out 2018 in Flint Township. File photo

FLINT TWP. — The Flint Township Police Department is gearing up for the return of its annual summertime celebration with the community: National Night Out.

Flint Township Police, along with members from several local Neighborhood Watch groups, will present National Night Out on Aug. 3 at the Flint Township Police Station on 5200 Norko Drive. The event will run from 4:30-8 p.m., featuring family friendly activities and police and first responders from multiple local departments.

This year, National Night Out will include K-9 demonstrations, driving simulators, bicycle and prize giveaways, a JAWS of Life demonstration, a dunk tank, bounce houses and inflatable games. Police, fire, and ambulance vehicles from local communities will be on display, and there will also be free hot dog dinners and a variety of vendors— including Genesee Health System, Biggby Coffee, HAP, the Michigan National Guard and many more.

Other departments who will be represented at National Night Out include the Flint Township Fire Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the Burton Police Department, the Clayton Township Police Department, Genesee County Park Rangers, Michigan State Police, Genesee County 911 Central Dispatch and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

Since it began in 1984, National Night Out has spread the word about crime and drug prevention awareness and helped to generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts across the United States. Police departments in thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide observe the annual event with celebrations, cookouts, safety demonstrations and crime/drug prevention programs.

The event is also intended to strengthen neighborhood spirit and promote police-community partnerships.

Most police departments observe National Night Out on the first Tuesday in August, although Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October.

Flint Township Police has participated in National Night Out since the mid-2000s and developed one of the area’s largest police-sponsored events. In 2019, the event drew over 2,000 people, and the department gave away 20 bikes to kids.

Flint Township Resource Officer John Chisa said that his department is eager to bring National Night Out back this year after it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“It’s a free night of fun for the whole family, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our local businesses and volunteers,” he said. “We’re happy to have everyone back.”

National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the Flint Township Police Department and local businesses. Flint Township’s National Night Out is solely funded by donations from the community.

Businesses and organizations that would like to donate gifts for door prizes or host a vendor booth at National Night Out can contact Officer Chisa for more information at 810-600- 3271.