News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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August 6, 2012

National Night Out brings community, agencies together

Event scheduled Aug. 7 at Fairbanks Park

TERRE HAUTE — Building stronger relationships between the community and law enforcement is just one goal of the 2012 National Night Out on Aug. 7 at Fairbanks Park in Terre Haute.

From 5 to 9 p.m., emergency and public service agencies who help residents in the Wabash Valley will have booths, displays and activities, along with free food and giveaway items.

Emergency medical helicopters from both AirEvac and LifeLine have arranged to land on the banks of the Wabash so that people can see the flybirds up close and talk to the staff.

Event organizer Jason Brentlinger, a sergeant with the Terre Haute Police Department, said he is also hoping that a Blackhawk helicopter from the Army National Guard will make an appearance, as it has in years past.

Something new this year, Brentlinger said, is that vendors have been asked to pass out school supplies to the children and families who visit the event.

“We’re focusing more this year on school supplies,” he said, “because that is a great service to the public.”

The THPD-organized event has consistently been ranked among the Top 10 NNO events in the nation for communities with populations from 50,000 to 100,000.

About 100 sponsors donated their time, supplies and cash to the annual event last year, and Brentlinger said tomorrow’s NNO will have even more sponsors.

Musical entertainment will be provided by local favorite The Mack Daddys performing live at the amphitheater. Several demonstrations will be conducted by law enforcement and other public service agencies, as well.

And the food is free — hotdogs, popcorn and soft drinks provided by Pepsi.

National Night Out is a project of the National Association of Town Watch, an organization dedicated to the development and promotion of organized law enforcement-affiliated crime and drug prevention programs. The nationwide event is usually scheduled for the first Tuesday in August.

Returning this year will be Operation Medicine Cabinet, which will be set up from 4 to 9 p.m. at the north and south entrances of Fairbanks Park. People who have expired or unused medications that they no longer want can turn those drugs in at Operation Medicine Cabinet so the drugs can be properly destroyed.

Among the other free activities are airboat rides on the Wabash River, several giveaways, and children’s events.

Also, anyone who has concerns about incidents in their neighborhoods or trends they are seeing in the community is invited to share those issues with the many agencies who will be represented at the event.

Another part of the event, but off-site, will be the collection of canned goods at the Terre Haute Food Bank and at Catholic Charities.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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