Blythewood area residents visited with local law enforcement officers, peeked inside fire trucks, picked up free school supplies and snacked on hot dogs or pizza at two separate National Night Out celebrations Tuesday evening.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide the first Tuesday in August. The annual community-building campaign promotes strong police- community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work. National Night Out events are intended to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, bringing police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Blythewood hosted its version of the national community-building event at Doko Park. In addition to local law enforcement representatives, employees from the nearby Amcor plant came stocked with 100 bags of free school supplies and enough hot dogs and cookies to feed 250 people.

“We wanted to support the community and promote better interaction and cooperation between law enforcement and the community,” said Steve Hasterok, director of the conference center and events at Doko Park.

Meanwhile, a few miles away in the Longcreek subdivision, residents snagged slices of pizza and played yard games, while police helped children create identification kits.
Dru Ham, who moved to the neighborhood just three months ago, volunteered to help with games for the event to meet people.

“I thought it would be a good time to meet my neighbors,” Ham said. “I wanted to get a sense of the community, to reach out and be part of it.”

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Blythewood, Richland County

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