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.
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 natw.org — “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)
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.”
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