SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood and Helmetta Police Departments were two of more than 9,000 law enforcement agencies that marked the thirty-third annual National Night Out by holding a joint family-friendly, community-wide event at the Municipal Complex on Summerhill Road on Tuesday, August 1.

The event began in 1984 as a way to unite law enforcement and residents in a combined effort to eliminate crime in their neighborhoods. It is also utilized to help improve the relationship between the officers and the residents in the communities they serve.

Spotswood's Municipal Complex had a steady flow of visitors to the free event that began at 6 p.m. and lasted until 9 p.m. In addition to area first responders, National Night Out featured community organizations that serve both Spotswood and Helmetta, including the Spotswood Public Library, the Spotswood Soccer Club, the Spotswood Recreation Department, the Spotswood Office on Aging and more. 

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The bouncers were a huge hit the kids as they excitedly ran from one to the other. The dolphin slide was especially busy on the warm and humid evening since the landing was a cool splashy pool.

Free treats like pretzels, snow cones and popcorn were on hand as well. When the kids tired of bouncing and splashing, there were games to play and prizes to be won. In addition to providing information to residents, each community organization also had boardwalk style games for youngsters to play for prizes.

Lines were long for face painting and balloon animals. Disappointment was high for the kids that were told the face painter and balloon artist were finished for the evening. However, there were other distractions that helped ease the letdown.

From health screenings to a dunk tank to the always cool fire trucks and emergency services vehicles, the Spotswood/Helmetta Night Out was an entertaining evening that let neighbors, friends, officers and community leaders kick back and enjoy a little summer fun together.