The South Queens residents joined millions of other concerned citizens as they took to the streets and met with their local police officers, heard about crime prevention, and learned ways to make their lives and their neighbors' lives safer.
The 106th Precinct encompasses the communities of Howard Beach, Old Howard Beach, West Hamilton Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Lindenwood, and Richmond Hill.
Representatives from various specialized police department units, elected representatives, and local civic associations attended the event. Also on hand were the Fire Department, Parks Department, and personnel and equipment from the West Hamilton Beach Fire Department and Ambulance Corps.
Community residents had an opportunity to register their vehicles for the many free auto theft prevention programs including C.A.T., H.E.A.T., and glass VIN etching of their vehicle windows, as well as signing up for free police department home security surveys and bicycle registration.
Residents and their children had a good time listening to the music of Everybody Dance Now Entertainment and eating the food and drinks that were provided. Program organizers estimated the attendees consumed 500 drinks and 500 hot dogs along with assorted candies, cookies and pretzels. Members of the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department and New York City Fire Department gave the children tours of their firetrucks.
"I believe National Night Out is one of the best ways to promote the beneficial working relationship between the community and the local police precincts,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. “National Night Out gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude to the police force and also emphasizes the fact that everyone benefits when the residents and the police work together."
“National Night Out is a significant event not only for our community, but for the entire nation,” added Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. “This event raises awareness for crime and drug prevention and strengthens the neighborhood spirit and police-community relationships.”
The 102nd Precinct and 102nd Precinct Community Council, which covers the communities of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, held their Night Out Against Crime Program at Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground, 106th Street and Atlantic Avenue from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The precinct had exhibits from the Police Department’s crime prevention programs in addition to units from NYPD Mounted, K-9, Emergency Services, NYPD Highway Motorcycles and Police Recruitment Officers. The precinct and community council also provided live music, entertainment, food and refreshments.
Maria Thomson, president of the 102nd Precinct Community Council, said that on National Night Out the community residents support their police officers, adding that, “Every day they are out their risking their lives fighting crime on our behalf to protecting us.”
Frank Gulluscio, a candidate for the City Council’s 32nd District, said that National Night Out Against Crime is most certainly not just another community event, but a national coming together to fight crime and celebrate the fact that residents and law enforcement can come together for the betterment of the community.
Since 1984 “National Night Out—America’s Night Out Against Crime” has grown to involve over 37 million people from more than 15,000 communities nationwide and in Canada.
The National Night Out Against Crime Program encourages neighbors to take control of their communities by turning on their porch lights and attending various community events.
Program organizers hope to heighten crime and drug awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that their neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.