BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- While last year’s National Night Out in Bloomfield was cut short by rain and lighting just before the headlining band’ was able to play, this year, hundreds of residents were able to enjoy the beautiful weather, great food, drinks, amusements and music and make memories with friends and Bloomfield Township employees.
Started in 1984, National Night Out is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts. Tuesday night there were over 20 off duty Police personnel--a combination of Officers, Police Aides, Auxiliary Officers and Civilian employees--at Foley Field to honor the mission of the annual event and interact with members of the community, especially the youth. There were also 15 off-duty Firefighters, many of whom participated in the annual Police vs. Fire Department softball game. Additionally, seven DPW employees worked the event, including two from the Electrical Department and five others who handled set up, garbage and recycling detail, and any other related maintenance needs, all of whom were there long after normal business hours.
“I would like to thank the Bloomfield Police Department and Fire Department for their involvement in our terrific annual event,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “I would be remiss to not also thank the hard-working men and women at the Department of Public Works, and Parks and Recreation Director Michael Sceurman, who always make sure there are great giveaways, food, bounce houses and various types of entertainment on the field for the kids to play on as well. We look forward to continuing to organize events during the year that bring law enforcement and community members together.”
The entire evening was free to all that attended. All sodas, waters, cookies and ice were donated by Brookdale ShopRite and pizzas were sold to at a hugely discounted rate from Vinnie’s Pizzeria, Parkside Pizzeria and Angelos Pizzeria.
“The Department of Public safety provided Free Child ID cards to all that attended and we had additional giveaways for the community including glow sticks, glow sunglasses, glow rings, glow necklaces and bracelets,” said Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio. “Our Community Policing Unit and Youth Aid Division affords Bloomfield Police Officers the chance to get out in the community on a daily basis and are here to protect Bloomfield residents. I am grateful to all of the members of our department who gave their time during National Night Out to interact with the community.”
Many children and families were enjoying the bounce houses and amusements behind the football field, and eating the free pizza, but many also walked over to the softball field, to watch The annual Police vs. Fire Softball game, which ended with an 26-11 win by the Bloomfield Fire Department. It was the first time in four years since the start of the annual National Night Out softball game that the fire Department took the trophy from the Police.
“I would like to thank our partners in the other township departments including Police, Fire, EMS, DPW and Board of Education for helping us bring the community together. It is a testament to the cohesive and hard working nature of our township employees,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Sceurman. “I am glad the weather held and residents got to enjoy a night out meeting Police and community leaders, and enjoying the music of Alotta Colada.”