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Port Jervis' 15th National Night Out celebrated by thousands!

Port Jervis’ 15th National Night Out (NNO) Against Crime celebration brought thousands to the city’s Riverside Park on the evening of August 1. Port’s Police Chief William Worden estimated over 3,000 as having turned out to enjoy an evening of fun, food, entertainment, and community spirit and cooperation.

The annual local NNO event began with dozens of NNO tee-shirts distributed by PJPD officers from the steps of the city’s Municipal Building, and a parade that began at 5:30 p.m.

The parade processed through a monthly downtown Cruzin’ Port vintage vehicle show, then under the historic Erie Railroad underpass to a celebration at Riverside Park. Broome Street Band, police, fire, and EMS units from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania departments, a large delegation of Falun Gong dancers, local civic groups, city and school district officials, students, and dozens of individuals and families were among those who took part in the parade.

NNO’s goal of fostering unity and policing partnerships was viewed by Worden and others as a big success locally.

“National Night Out is designed to heighten and promote positive police/community relations and develop partnerships, not only in our community but the greater tri-state community. We had a great crowd, and over 60 organizations participated in the event,” Worden said.

Worden noted the large amount of support given to the annual NNO event in the Tri-State community. He expressed gratitude for ShopRite’s donation of chips, rolls, and more than 2000 hotdogs that were cooked and served by local Rotary and Elks members, and hundreds of bottles of water provided by Price Chopper. Event financial sponsors also included Bon Secours Community Hospital, Orange and Rockland Utilities, M&T Bank, and donations from local businesses, civic groups and residents.

DJ Rock-A-Fuller (Matt Fuller) along with Bill Smith helped to emcee and provide music from Riverside’s stage. Three individuals were invited to the stage to accept certificates for their organization’s longtime participation in NNO locally. They were Smith Tents and Family Party Events (Bill Smith), Rotary (Sue Casey), and Elks (Erin Morrissey).

In addition to music, refreshments, and a parade, many booths were open at the event. Those stationed at the booths offered games, prizes, and informational literature. Additional bikes, backpacks, and other items were distributed from the stage.

NNO’s goal is to promote positive, healthy lifestyles in a safe, healthy place in which to live and raise families. This is a goal Worden and other community leaders believe can only be accomplished through strong partnerships between a community’s health and human service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, schools, civic organizations, and emergency services.

“Crime, drug abuse, and disorder are a community problem, and together we are able to best address the needs of our community,” Worden said in advance of the annual event. “We are confident that together we can make a difference and send a clear message that we are united, we are strong, and we are committed to making the Tri-State community a safe and healthy place to raise our families.”

Following the event, Worden deemed the event an important step successfully taken in that direction.

“Last night was a big success, and we look forward to next year’s event,” said Worden.

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