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National Night Out celebrations seek to build relationships between police and communities

Police departments across the country will tonight be taking part in National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign held across the United States.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Police departments across the country will tonight be taking part in National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign.

National Night Out began in 1981 in Montgomery County’s Lower Merion Township. It’s now a tradition that 16,000 police departments across the country participate in on the first Tuesday in August.

Celebrations often include a block party, festival, parade or cookout, with extra police-themed activities like meeting police officers, the K9 team, and other first responders, such as firefighters. Many departments also bring police cars and other vehicles to explore.

The event has gained popularity as a way to build police-community relationships, especially in recent years.

“We’re very fortunate that we work in an area where we have a great amount of support from our community, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of continuing those relationships between the police department and the citizens,” Lt. Josh Kilgore of the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department (NLCRPD) said. 

NLCRPD is holding their National Night Out event at East Petersburg Community Pool, kicking off with a bike ride at 5:30 p.m.

You can find a full list of National Night Out events happening in Central Pennsylvania here

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