Police host night out
>‘We need people’s support more than ever’
MILFORD – The summer of 2016 has been a terrible one for police, and even in small New England towns it has been hard for them to watch as situations deteriorate into violence.
In Milford, police have been working on community policing for years, with events such as "Coffee With the Cops" and last month, a community cookout.
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, they’ll take a new step toward promoting their relationship with residents by holding a National Night Out.
The yearly event is held on the first Tuesday of every August by more than 40,000 police agencies across the U.S. and Canada that come together with their communities.
It’s hard to watch "things deteriorate across the country," said Milford Police Sgt. Matthew Fiffield, who is organizing Milford’s evening event.
"All we can do is to constantly try to bond with the community," Fiffield said.
The National Night Out event has been held annually since 1984, and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
The National Association of Town Watch is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to enhancing communities through the network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations, and volunteers.
The free Milford event will be from 6-8 p.m. in Emerson Park. There will be music and games, police will grill barbecue, and kids will be able to check out cruisers, fire trucks and an ambulance,
Along with a patrol cruiser on-site, members of the mountain bike, motorcycle and ATV units will be there with their vehicles and specialized gear for guests to learn about firsthand.
Fiffield said residents’ support of police in Milford has been great, with people sending cards and emails.
"This event will hopefully serve as an opportunity for our citizens to not only learn about some of our functions as an agency, but to show a bond and symbol of unity with our Police Department," he said.
"Given the current state of relations between some police agencies and their respective communities, I think all departments need the people’s support now more than ever."
Emerson Park is located off Mont Vernon Street, near the Post Office and the Stone Bridge downtown.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.