It’s been discussed for several years, but it came to a reality Tuesday night as Franklin police hosted the department’s first National Night Out.
More than 1,000 people attended the inaugural event at Community Park which featured a medical helicopter, police cruisers from Franklin, Warren County Sheriff and the Ohio Highway Patrol, EMS squads, fire trucks, information booths, bounce houses and plenty of food and drinks.
“We love our community,” said Lt. Brian Pacifico. “We got lots of help from local churches and businesses.”
Pacifico said Dispatcher Lindsay Alvarez helped him along with the city’s Special Events Committee which helps to organize community events.
Franklin police and city staff were wearing light blue shirts to promote the event.
Many local organizations and companies donated door prizes, food, water, soft drinks, tables, chairs and other items or discounted items for the event. One company, Hutamaki, donated all of the food and company employees volunteered their time to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. Another company, Faurecia provided bottled water for the event.
Among the areas featured included a bicycle safety course where children can learn the rules and practice other skills. Franklin Firefighter Nancy Coppock and others helped to fit more than 100 bike helmets for children to help keep them safe.
In addition to the opportunity to look and sit in a police cruiser or a SWAT truck, residents could also watch various demonstrations such as firefighters using the Jaws of Life to enter a wrecked car; watching rookie police Officer Carlos Pardue being shot with a Taser;, and police Chief Russ Whitman, participating in canine demonstration with the dog chasing him.
“I’m really happy with how this turned out,” he said.
Residents were happy as well.
“This is very, very nice,” said resident Mark Bales, of Franklin. “It’s a bigger turnout that what I thought and this is very good for the neighborhood.”
His son, Braydin, 12, agreed saying that the food was really good and that he enjoyed the bounce houses. He was also looking forward to the canine demonstration.