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Lansing Police and residents unite for National Night Out

by Jennifer Yos

LANSING, Ill. (August 4, 2021) – The Lansing Police Department hosted a well-attended “National Night Out” on Tuesday, August 3, from 5 – 8 p.m. at Lansing’s Fox Pointe. Lansing was one of 156 cities in Illinois to participate this year in the nationwide event traditionally held the first Tuesday of August. The main purpose of the event is to build police-community relationships and partnerships.

Al Phillips
Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips welcomes attendees to National Night Out at Fox Pointe. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

Lansing’s National Night Out at Fox Pointe included hot dogs, chips, and beverages and a variety of activities that brought the community and its police force together in positive ways: a bouncy house, face-painting, a Connect Four game, a K-9 demonstration with Officer Keith Haan, a magic show with Magician Brenden Trojan, a dunk tank featuring police “dunkees” Officer Dana Tatgenhorst and Chief of Police Al Phillips, and freebies and raffles for a variety of child and adult prizes.

The free event was made possible with the support of event sponsors: Lansing Copper Muggers, LACE, Land O’ Frost, Turano Bread, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 218, Julie Butler CPA, Lansing Chamber of Commerce, Dixie Kitchen, Golden Bear, Mancino’s, Ace Hardware, GoLo, Greco Nut and Candy, Walgreen’s, and JJ Kelley’s.

“National Night Out” was first introduced in August of 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, an organization that — according to its website — “provides community watch groups the necessary information, resources, and assets to stay informed, interested, involved, and motivated within the community.”

VIDEO BELOW: Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips gets dunked for the first time by Antwon Love, an Arrow of Light Scout. (Video: Jennifer Yos)

VIDEO BELOW: Officer Keith Haan shows off K-9 Rico’s defensive biting skills against an attacking “bad guy.” (Video: Jennifer Yos)

National Night Out
Sergeant Chuck Weeden and Deputy Chief Rick Slough demonstrate their talent grilling hot dogs. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
National Night Out
LACE volunteers monitored the popular bouncy house. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
National Night Out
Face and arm painting and was a popular activity. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

At the beginning of the event, Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips encouraged attendees to talk to the police officers and get to know them. He also encouraged Lansing residents to become involved in the neighborhood beat watches and to call 911 or the non-emergency number (708-895-7150) if they see something suspicious.

At the end of the evening Phillips thanked everyone for coming and reminded them, “Tonight is about awareness — raising awareness about what we can do as a community to help prevent crime. A couple of simple things that we don’t realize how important they are — locking our car doors at night, getting alarm systems. In the wintertime, let’s not start our cars up and offer free cars and let people drive away with them. Simple little things. Get involved in your community. Come out to our beat meetings. If you have a suggestion, we’re here to listen. And that’s what we want to do, we want to have good community relations, and listen to everybody and try and prevent crime.”


Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann’s School and T.F. South, and she earned a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. For 34 years she taught English, as well as Creative Writing and Drama, at Lincoln-Way High School. She dabbled in freelance journalism for the Joliet Herald News Living section. Now retired, Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to write for The Lansing Journal and is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has already met who are making a difference in Lansing.