Connecting Police and Communities: National Night Out
Today, we are interviewing Molly Lawrence, Communications Operator for the Bishop Police Department, about National Night Out.
1. Please tell us a little bit about National Night Out. What is it, what is the idea behind it, and which first responders were present?
National Night Out is traditionally an annual campaign that promotes Police community partnerships to make neighborhoods safer. Ideally it allows an opportunity for the public to form positive relationships with us so they may feel more comfortable in the event of an emergency. This year we chose to include as many first responders as possible, recognizing the fact that we all work together to serve our small, yet tight-knit community. Usually, NNO occurs on the first Tuesday in August, but we utilized the alternative date of the first Tuesday in October in hopes of encouraging a higher attendance. The alternate October date is used by communities that experience unbearable heat in August. And truth be told, using the October date proved a higher turnout than in past years. We served over 300 people at last Tuesday’s event.
Bishop Police Department – Patrol Unit, Kid’s Police car picture cut-out, Wanted Person’s photo op, popcorn, and snow cones.
Tribal Police – Patrol Unit, meet the new Chief, dispatch, and they offered police goody bags and police balloons for the kids
Crossroads Recovery – Information to families on how to defend against fentanyl overdose. They provided overdose reversal kits, how to talk to the youth for parents about the dangers of fentanyl, and handed out sweet treats, bags, pens brochures and educational materials.
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office – representatives from administration, investigations, patrol, corrections, K-9 unit, ICSO Jeep, and an OHV vehicle.
Inyo County Probation officers and office staff displayed their truck and offered public information, hand-outs and games for all ages including a bean bag toss.
Inyo County SED Special Enforcement Detail displayed their armored rescue vehicle which provides ballistic protection to first responders and the public in the event of an active shooter as well as transports responders and civilians during a rescue event.
Inyo County Search and Rescue showed their truck which provides troop transport for the volunteer SAR team while also carrying everything the team could need including technical rope, medical gear, cold weather gear, patient care kits, lighting, etc. The team displayed a rescue simulation which was depicted in the pictures.
Mammoth Lakes Police Department brought a K9 patrol unit and OHV vehicle. The OHV is used to patrol the forest areas where regular patrol units cannot enter. Mammoth officers educate off-road enthusiasts on off road laws and trail usage.
Inyo County Office of Emergency Services had a booth with informational handouts for the public.
US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management had their fire prevention vehicle.
Bishop Volunteer Fire Department showed their ladder truck. The volunteers came out in force and helped set up and break down.
Special thanks to Ashlee Alex and Andy Boxley with Back Alley Bowling, Dean’s Plumbing and Heating, and Craig Frechette and crew from Western Nevada Supply for not only donating over three hundred hamburgers and hotdogs but barbecuing and serving the community themselves.
2. How many years has it been happening?
It started in August of 1984 through National Association of Town Watch, the first event involved two point five million people across four hundred communities in twenty-three states. Today, National Night Out provides an opportunity for first responders and neighbors to come together under positive circumstances and have some fun.
Now in its fortieth year, sixteen thousand communities in all fifty states, territories and United States military bases participate in the event. This is Bishop’s fifth year participating in National Night Out and it has become a tradition both first responders and the community look forward to.
3. What kind of opportunities were there to learn about emergency preparedness and safety tips?
Each booth had representatives from their agency handing out informational pamphlets. Inyo County Search SAR demonstrated a litter rescue which is depicted in some of the pictures I sent you.
A special thank you to Molly Lawrence for answering these questions!