Hundreds of Grafton residents show support for police on ‘National Night Out’

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Members of the Grafton Police Department take a break from meeting visitors to pose for a photo.

Grafton – Hundreds of residents, of all ages, came out Aug. 7 to celebrate the Grafton Police Department’s 13th annual National Night Out (NNO), held at the department’s headquarters.

The department was one of over 16,000 communities across the country and U.S. territories participating in the event that aims to foster a greater understanding between local police departments and citizens. And on a night that was oppressively humid, Grafton’s residents made it a point to show up and say just how much they appreciated their particular police department.

That sentiment was gratefully noted by Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau, Jr.

“This is amazing turnout,” he said, as he looked at the crowds, many of whom were young families. “I did not think we would get so many people, especially as it’s so humid out tonight. But this is wonderful and we are so happy to have so many people here who are interested in meeting the department and all of the others here tonight.”

Gina Alano came to the event with her kids, Anthony, 4, and Lucia, 19 months. It was important to her, she said, to “show support for the police department”.

Jennifer Tonelli, who brought her two sons, Jack, 7, and Owen, 5, said the boys were “crazy” about law enforcement.

“They are absolutely fascinated with it all,” she said, “so this is a perfect way for them to meet [law enforcement officers].

During the evening, 77 child identification kits were processed under the CHIP’s program administered by the Siloam Masonic Lodge of Westboro with the assistance of The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls assembly #47 and the Benjamin Franklin DeMolay.

Among the many others present at the event greeting residents were Grafton Emergency Management Agency, Grafton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Grafton Fire Department, Grafton Highway Department, the 2018 Grafton Police Youth Academy, Grafton Cable,  Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troop 106 and 107, and Central MA Law Enforcement Council (CEMLEC) SWAT Unit

Food was provided by Grafton Job Corps, Table Talk Pies and Pepperoni Express while Dunkin Donuts offered free samples of icy drinks.

In a Facebook post after the event, Crepeau expressed his gratitude for all who had made the event once again, a huge success.

“It is our sincere wish to continue this tradition in the future and create an even bigger and better event in the hope that more residents will come out to our National Night Out Block Party to team up with the Grafton Police Department to GIVE CRIME AND DRUGS A GOING AWAY PARTY!!!” he added.

(Photos/Bonnie Adams)

Jack Tonelli, 7 (a member of Grafton Cub Scout Pack 106) and his brother, Owen, 5, pose for a photo in front of the Worcester County Sheriff’s van.
Cristal Martinez, 9 with Officer Doug Tripp
Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau, Jr. greets the crowd.
The Grafton Lions Club
Joshua Howe ( r )  and Michael Flood of MedStar Ambulance
Hervey Cote, Tom Turner and Mike Zsepetz man the Mass. State Police Museum and Learning Center table
Gina Alano with Anthony, 4, and Lucia, 19 months
Chelsea and Mike Mutrie with their 19-month-old son, Miles
Community Advocate Staff: