Fort Detrick residents gathered at the Balfour Beatty Community Neighborhood Center Area Aug. 1 for an evening full of education and fun at National Night Out – an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live—this year marked the 40th anniversary of the now nationwide event that began in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This year more than 40 million Americans and 161 cities in Maryland participated in National Night Out, according to the program’s website. National Night Out gives residents the opportunity to interact with the Fort Detrick law enforcement and Fire officers, learning about the various tools these first responders use to keep the community safe. For example, the Fort Detrick Fire Department’s fire truck was an excellent visual aid in educating attendees about how firefighters extinguish fires.
Fort Detrick’s Police Department also presented a display of tools their police officers, including an “Emergency Response Unit” vehicle and actual combat gear, including chemical masks, battering rams, and bulletproof helmets.
National Night Out allows attendees to meet the men and women who serve and protect their communities daily.
National Night Out also highlighted important personal safety topics through multiple tent stations run by representatives from Family Advocacy, Morale Welfare and Recreation, Army Community Services, Army Substance Abuse, National Institute of Health, the Fort Detrick Antiterrorism Officer, the Fort Detrick Emergency Manager and the Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization. These stations provided informational material for the event’s attendees, including brochures and pamphlets for the adults to learn more about preventing domestic and child abuse. The tent stations also passed out coloring books and small toys to help educate children on various topics.