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 kcleveland@cabinet.com.