CLARK, NJ - A fast-passing thunderstorm brought drenching rains to the start of National Night Out in Clark Tuesday. The wet beginnnings did nothing to diminish the fun, festivities and spirit of the remainder of the evening.
The event was moved to the grounds of the Clark Recreation Center this year allowing for a greater offering of activities. As the community has come to expect there was plenty of food, police, fire and emergency vehicles to explore and lots of departmental personnel on hand interacting with visitors and answering questions.
New to this year’s event were a dunk tank, bounce house, an obstacle course, community businesses raffling off prizes and even the opportunity to cool off (or in event of rain, run and hide) in the air conditioned cafeteria.
Detective Brian Soos organizes the event each year. He talked about how much this event means to the department and how it seems even more important based on how the town of Clark treats the police.
“This event is all for the community, it is the least we can do,” said Soos. “This community does so much for us, especially over the last year, it seems like every week someone is dropping cookies, sandwiches and more off to us as a way of saying thanks for what we do. This is really our thank you for them to.”
Soos hopes the event will get bigger each year. He made it clear there would be no event without the teamwork of so many of his colleagues and the generous donations of town businesses.
“Everyone in the department is a part of what you see happening here. Everyone chips in and does what they need to to help make this night happen,” said Soos.
According to Soos ShopRite, Loreal, the SPF YMCA, Samsel & Associates Real Estate Services, Target and Blaze Pizza were businesses that donated and attended the event and made it successful.
The National Night Out campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is part of continuing efforts to strengthen ties between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out each year across thousands of communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August.