SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The temperature was warm, but the smiles and the grills were even warmer as close to a thousand residents turned out to participate in South Plainfield’s 6th Annual National Night Out (NNO).

The event, which had the feel of country BBQ bash, was spearheaded by the South Plainfield Police Department and the South Plainfield Library. There was never ending burgers and hot dogs. The music played on as children played games, were on rides and for good wholesome fun took a crack at dunking one of the rookie officers in a dunk tank.

“The night was perfect,” said South Plainfield Police Chief James Parker. “Sergeant Cassio and Library Director Linda Hansen put together a wonderful evening for residents of all ages to enjoy.”

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Chief Parker had an assignment of his own. He was on duty manning the grill assisting in serving over 700 cheeseburgers and 700 hotdogs. The barbeque pit crew consisting of Chief Parker, Tom Cassio, Siobhan Cassio, Jim Giannakis, Bill Ashnault, Pio Pennisi and Mark Hollain worked to the very end. It was a well-run assembly line operation that averaged approximately 500 sandwiches an hour.  

“National Night Out’s purpose is to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the town residents,” said Sergeant Gary Cassio. “Our goal is to have a strong bond with the community throughout the year and not just one evening.”

“The staff and I were delighted to be able to assist our neighbors at the police department with this year's National Night Out celebration,” said Linda Hansen. “It was a tremendous success thanks to all of the community groups, businesses and organizations who donated not only financially, but also in terms of their time and effort to help ensure that we were able to present a free, fun, and family friendly evening for the residents. I think a highlight of this year was seeing all of the officers who spent time engaging and interacting with our community in a fun and relaxed environment. I would love for NNO to become an annual tradition that the residents look forward to each year.”

 

According to Cassio NNO gives residents a chance to see a different side of the police officers and allows everyone an opportunity to spend time together. “In my opinion, this is a great event,” said Cassio. “The support from the community was overwhelming. We were fortunate to have donations from not only local businesses and organizations, but also private citizens as well. I look forward to planning next year's celebration and have already been brainstorming ways to make it even bigger and better for everyone.” 

“Each year the event seems to be getting bigger and better,” said South Plainfield Administrator Glenn Cullen. “A lot of hard work goes into an event like this, but our police officers, volunteers and employees love what they do and that makes it come off easy.”

Below is the stat line for NNO:

 

 

PARTICIPANTS:

 

AFC Urgent Care 

Au-some Balloon Art (Eddie Lin)

Boy Scout Pack 224 (life size connect 4 game)

Car Nutz Classic Cars

DJ Ed Marin

Dr. Gonzalez DDS/Park Avenue Dentistry (photo booth)

Domestic Violence Response Team

Staples

Green Team

Home Depot (crafts)

Investor's Bank

Joe Fischer's Strolling Magic 

Jumping Celebrations (bounce house and obstacle course) 

Lincoln Tech

McDonalds

Paraco Gas (donated grill, hosted raffle)

Photo Op w/ a Cop

Ray Anderson (Mr. Ray Children's Musician) 

Rent a Character (Captain America)

Club at Ricochet

Sarge & Officer Louise

Sky Zone

South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission (water and juice) 

South Plainfield Historical Society

South Plainfield Fire Department

South Plainfield Police Department Safety Fingerprinting

South Plainfield Rescue Squad

Bicycle Helmet Raffle (sponsored by Doug & Michelle Chapman and Dick's Sporting Goods)

South Plainfield Public Library (face painting, glitter tattoos and crafts)

Unity Bank

 

FOOD:  ( 700 hot dogs and 700 hamburgers)

 

Food provided by Employees of Aldis (who donated out of pocket!) and SPASA

Prepared by Chief Parker, Tom and Siobhan Cassio, Mark Hollain, Bill Ashnault, Jim Giannakis, and Pio Pennisi 

Rolls donated by Baker's Express

Paper products, condiments and cheese donated by Shop Rite of South Plainfield 

Beverages donated by Bett-A-Way

Rita's Ice (donated ~500 cups)

Ice donated by McCriskin's 

 

DONATIONS:

AKA Printing (signs)

Employees of Aldis Grocery 

Bett-A-Way

Boro of South Plainfield  (bounce house/obstacle)

Dick's Sporting Goods

Doug & Michelle Chapman

Elks Lodge #2298

Friends of the South Plainfield Public Library 

Home Depot (gas grill donation) 

Italian American Progressive League of South Plainfield

Jim Giannakis

Keystone Plastics

Dr. Frank P. Licado DDS

Lowe's (power washer donation) 

McDonalds 

Paraco Gas (donated grill & propane)

South Plainfield Observer

South Plainfield Public Library (Ausome Balloons, Joe Fischer & Mr. Ray)

SPASA

Tap Into South Plainfield

Target (back to school backpack raffles and bike helmets) 

Taylor Rentals (tents)

Twin City Pharmacy (Dunk Tank & Rutgers Bus)

 

Police Stats:

A thank you to all the officers who spent time in the dunk tank, passing out beverages, meeting and interacting with the community, fingerprinting the kids, posing for photos and spending time making sure that everyone had a great time. The officers who made it happen:

Chief James Parker

Sgt Garrett Cassio

Sgt Chris Collucci

Sgt James McConville

SRO Justin Melanson

SRO Zachary Melanson

Detective Mike Glowacki

Detective Joseph Glowacki

Detective Craig Magnani

Detective Tom Rutter

Detective Chris Blath

Officer Anthony Louise

Officer Mark Hollain

Officer Steve Perhach

Officer Jacob Seider

Officer Daniel Bori

Officer William Bori

Officer Meredith Ferguson

Officer Neil Budhan

Officer Stephen Petriello

Operator Tracy Bruton

Operator Tim Kelly 

 

The Department of Public Works crew who did the bulk of the setting up and breaking down