The city of Kentwood will be bustling with block parties, neighborhood events and other activities Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The local celebration is part of National Night Out, a nationwide annual event that promotes community-police partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make communities safer.
National Night Out encourages people to turn their porch lights on and come outside to meet their neighbors and community leaders, as well as police and fire department personnel. Kentwood police officers, firefighters and leaders will join residents at more than 15 gatherings planned for the community-building event, most of which will take place 6-8 p.m.
Residents will have the opportunity to explore police cruisers, fire engines and other emergency response vehicles at events, as well as learn about a variety of safety topics.
“National Night Out’s message of neighborhood connections and the importance of caring for one another is right in line with Kentwood’s community effort,” Mayor Stephen Kepley said. “The city’s leadership team is looking forward to a fun evening connecting with residents, celebrating community and learning about ways we can work together to keep Kentwood a wonderful and safe place to call home.”
The Kentwood Police Department has partnered with Woodland Mall to offer community members an up-close look at police vehicles inside the mall from 3-5 p.m. Shoppers will be able to learn about and explore a police cruiser and motorcycle and enjoy giveaways.
In addition, several public community-based events will be hosted throughout the evening and feature a variety of free activities, including appearances from McGruff the Crime Dog.
- Ada Bible Church, 1640 East Paris Ave. SE, will offer food and activities 5-8 p.m.
- Faith Baptist Church, 1412 44th St. SE, will have food trucks, live bands and prizes 7-9 p.m.
- Pentecostals Church, 2627 44th St. SE, will host a party 6-8 p.m. featuring a bounce house, food and games.
“Positive interactions with residents are invaluable for fostering strong community relationships and safer neighborhoods,” Police Chief Richard Roberts said. “National Night Out creates a wonderful opportunity to bring officers and community members together in a fun and relaxing setting. Members of our department always look forward to getting to know residents better and encourage more open lines of communication.”
National Night Out was created in the 1980s through an established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation. It began with a goal to promote safer, better neighborhoods by uniting community members and police against neighborhood crimes.
More information about National Night Out events in Kentwood is available at kentwood.us/NNO.