Port’s second National Night Out
On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Port Washington hosted its second National Night Out (NNO) at Lions Field. The national campaign is meant to cultivate relationships between the residents, police forces and elected officials. At NNO, residents have the opportunity to learn about local organizations and meet the faces behind them.
The Port Washington Police Department, the Sands Point Police Department, the Nassau County Police Department and the Port Washington Fire Department participated in the event to meet Port families. Port Washington Youth Activities, the Town of North Hempstead Community Services and Parks Departments, the Littig House Community Center, the Port Washington Public Library and other participating vendors also came to show support.
Last year was Port’s first NNO brought to the community by Town of North Hempstead Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte. While last year’s first event was a success, the community was excited to see that this year the event grew. Lions Field has more space than Alvan Petras Park, where NNO was hosted last year. With more space, police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances were displayed, more activities were organized and more families gathered.
“We are so grateful to Al Eskanazy from the Community-Police Relations Foundation and Port Washington Fire Department for their generous donation of hamburgers and hot dogs, Arizona for their contribution of water, SPORTIME for organizing field day activities, and Port Washington Youth Activities for allowing us to use their fields, grilling, helping with parking, and so much more,” said Councilmember Dalimonte. “This event united the community and made this year’s event a tremendous success.”
“National Night Out provides children with a fun interaction with our local police officers, allowing them to connect on a personal level. It’s so important for them to see that police are our friends,” said New York State Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti (Assembly District 16). “It was such a special evening and I want to thank everyone who helped put these events together. We are so lucky here to have such community-oriented police departments. “
National Night Out is 39 years in the making, reaching 38 million neighbors in 17 thousand communities, according to the NNO website (natw.org). In New York, more than 150 cities host NNO with local support.
The Sands Point Police Department Union said, “It’s the goal of the Sands Point Police to build trust within our community. National Night Out allows our Police Officers to interact with the community, which will ultimately lead to a safer neighborhood. We want people to walk away and say, ‘Wow, what a great night.’ When that happens, we know it was a success.”
“The Sands Point Police Department is always honored when asked to participate in National Night Out. All the thanks go to Councilmemeber Dalimonte and our partners, the Port Washington Police Department, namely our good friend Chief Del Muro,” said Sands Point Police Chief Thomas Ruehle. “This event is a great opportunity for the community to interact with our officers, see our equipment and technology, and for us to show them that we are here for the entire community to keep them safe. This is a great event that we will continue to support and participate in.”
Port Washington Police Chief Robert Del Muro said, “I was happy to see such a large turnout for our second annual National Night Out. We want to thank everyone that helped make this year’s event a huge success. It was great to reconnect with our long-time neighbors while forging new friendships. The unique camaraderie between the PWPD and our Port Washington neighbors was on full display at this event. We are committed to working together to ensure the safety and security of our neighborhoods. We invite everyone to join us next year for this exciting opportunity to get to know their local law enforcement officers.”
In addition to fostering strong community relations, local law enforcement hosted a memorial softball game to honor Police Officer Brandon Wilson at National Night Out. Officer Wilson was a five-year veteran of the PWPD when he was killed in an auto accident while off duty in January 2022.
The Port Washington Fire Department and the PWPD played against each other in the game and the fire department beat the police department 14-6. Both teams wore jerseys with Officer Wilson’s name and badge number in his memory.