MONTCLAIR, NJ - Oh what a night as the Township of Montclair joined communities across the nation for the annual National Night Out festivities on Tuesday evening.
The Montclair Police Department partnered with the Montclair Business Improvement District (Montclair BID) to host National Night Out.
This event highlights Montclair’s Public Safety. Montclair Police and Fire Departments, along with Montclair Ambulance Unit were on hand to meet, greet, and socialize with the community. Police, firefighters, EMT's and other public safety officials turned South Park and Church Street into an information and showplace of activity. Residents were provided with music, martial arts entertainment, food, support information and community services offered in the area.
According to police officials, there were many giveaway items pertaining to public safety, toys, food, services and more to those in attendance.
Entering South Park, visitors were greeted by the emergency vehicles used in the township, including police cars, motorcycles, fire truck, EMT trucks. Children were excited to see the vehicles in actual size. Children were able to enter the vehicles to view and interact with the inner working of the fire truck, see what the inside of an EMT vehicle looks like and sit on the police motorcycles.
Many other activities included face painting, art and craft activities, two bouncy houses and free ice cream provided by Applegate Farms.
Emergency personnel provided safety tips and took the time to speak and engage with families in attendance, taking time to explain their jobs and duties in the township.
Joining Chiefs Conforti and Herrman were their Deputy Chiefs, and many of the men/women of their respective departments. Several members of the Township Council were also in attendance, along with Assemblyman Thomas Giblin.
Fourth Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville commented, "This is a great opportunity to educate people about safety, an opportunity to bring families and neighbors together, put down the cell phones, and a great time to talk to police not only when there is trouble."
The universal purpose of the National Night Out event was echoed by many, in that, it is for the residents to be able to identify and positively interact with those that work in the community.
Deputy chief Robert Duncan of the Montclair Fire Department, said, "Montclair is glad to be a part of this nationwide event as its a great night for the community to get to know who and what first responders do."
Giblin added, "This is good community relations for police and the fire department. It teaches responsible leadership, as many young people are apprehensive of police, we must all be on the same page as to safety and stamping out crime."
From the smiles on everyone's face and the commentary, the evening was considered a major success. Those in attendance stated that the goal of forming a community partnership and working towards keeping neighborhoods safe, was certainly a step in the right direction.
Deputy EMT Chief Brian Wilde stated, "This is a great night to include the community [and] to be able to answer questions and have children and families to let them know that we are here to help."
Parent Jamena Grant, of Montclair, was accompanied by her daughter and a guest visiting from France. She had this to say, "Its a beautiful night for families to come out join in the activities and get to know the services available and meet the individuals that work to keep us safe. "
Community participants included Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation (MNDC), Montclair Support Systems, Farmer's Insurance, Davis Integrated Medicine, B London, Montclair Public Library, S.O.F.I.A., Montclair PAL and numerous local merchants, to name a few.