Middletown’s National Night Out has ‘exceeded everyone’s expectations.’ Find out why.

Chase, a Middletown canine officer, jumps a hurdle during last year’s National Night Out at Berachah Church. A similar demonstration is planned for this year’s event, set for 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Chase, a Middletown canine officer, jumps a hurdle during last year’s National Night Out at Berachah Church. A similar demonstration is planned for this year’s event, set for 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Over the last several years, the Middletown Division of Police has “surpassed everyone’s expectations” in regards to hosting National Night Out, said Maj. David Birk.

After looking over the plans, he doesn’t expect that to change this year.

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On Tuesday, Aug. 7, Middletown will join nationwide police departments by hosting its National Night Out, held the first Tuesday in August. Birk called the night “a way to give back to the community.”

The community certainly has responded recently, he said. He said crowds exceeding 5,000 people have attended the annual event, sponsored by the police department, Gold Star Chili at Engle’s Corner, Walmart and Pepsi.

The large grassy area between Berachah Church, 1900 Johns Road, and Lefferson Park will be transformed into a carnival atmosphere from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Birk said. Parking is available at the church and park.

He said there will demonstrations from the police department’s canine unit and Special Response Team, U.S. military, and Team Fastrax, the Middletown-based skydiving team, will perform and be available to meet people, sign autographs and pose for pictures. There also will be inflatables from A and S Play Zone and a Honey Hill Farm Mobile Petting Zoo.

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Entertainment will be provided by Will Fluke on the main stage.

Gold Star is providing free coneys and Pepsi is providing drinks, Birk said.

Numerous Middletown area agencies will have informational booths set up. The event is free and open to the public.

A free movie also will be shown around 9 p.m. near the main stage, said Jeri Lewis, organizer of the city’s free movies. She said Middletown area residents are voting on what movie they want shown. The movie, either Boss Baby or Zootopia, is expected to be announced today.

“We build on it every year,” Birk said. “We are putting it on for the community, for the kids.”

National Night Out also gives the police department staff an opportunity to interact with residents and show they’re “normal, everyday people,” Birk said.

“They see us in a different light,” he said.

He said sometimes those in law enforcement are viewed only as officers.

But, Birk said, officers “have the same problems as everybody else.”

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HOW TO GO

WHAT: Middletown's National Night Out

WHERE: Lawn of Berachah Church, 1900 Johns Road

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. Rain date is Tuesday, Aug. 14.

HOW MUCH: Free and open to the public