Crime prevention through neighborhood strength focus of National Night Out
A team of Aberdeen Proving Ground Special Reaction Team police officers demonstrate how they might apprehend a suspect during the annual National Night Out event held in Patriot Village, Aug. 2.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - National Night Out, held at the McGruff House on Aug. 2, highlighted some of the equipment and procedures used by the Aberdeen Proving Ground
Department of Emergency Services personnel. About 200 people attended the event, which included displays and demonstrations by DES personnel and community service organizations.

The annual event, observed in all 50 states and on military installations worldwide, celebrated its 28th anniversary this year. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to
criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Representatives from community organizations likeHousing, the Army Substance Abuse Program, Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, and the Emergency Operations Center also supported the event by providing information to attendees.

Detective Mike “Big Mike” Farlow, who also serves as APG’s Community Policing Officer said that the event gives the community a chance to interact with DES in a friendly, fun environment.

“The community has changed so much in the past year,” Farlow said, referring to APG’s increase of civilian employees due to Base Realignment and Closure. “Many people who attended the event recently moved to the area, so this was a new experience for them.”

A popular booth was the Special Reaction Team’s display of weapons, tactical equipment and body armor. Officer Andrew Funke, who manned the table, said that the SRT are the military equivalent to civilian police department Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT teams. The SRT is a specially trained team of DES police officers armed and equipped to isolate, contain and gather information to neutralize a special threat, if necessary.

During the event members of the SRT demonstrated how they would arrest a suspect.

“The technology that goes into their equipment is amazing,” said Andrew Card, 16, who paid close attention to the bullet proof shields and surveillance cameras.

Attendees also gathered around the APG K-9 unit’s demonstration, led by Lt. Ed Sala and Officer Chris Danko, who demonstrated how they train Poker, a police K9, by who performed, obedience
and detection exercises.

In addition to displays and demonstrations, DES firefighters and emergency medical personnel gave tours of emergency vehicles, distributed fire prevention information. The fire department
also provided an inflatable fire truck slide for children.

“My son loves fire trucks and was excited to meet a fireman and sit in a real fire truck,” said Stephanie Logan, who attended the event with her husband and four children.

In addition to displays and demonstrations, Picerne Military Housing provided a cookout for attendees, and hosted an outdoor movie after the event.

Page last updated Thu August 11th, 2011 at 00:00