By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Grafton – For the 14th year, Grafton residents and visitors joined thousands of communities nationwide Aug. 6 by celebrating the 36rd annual National Night Out. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and locally by the Grafton Police Department. Designed to strengthen a partnership between law enforcement and community, the family-friendly block party is an opportunity for residents to interact with first responders, as well as town and state officials.
Guests of all ages gathered on the grounds of Grafton Police Department. There, they explored a display of cruisers, fire trucks, mobile command station and a SWAT vehicle with equipment. Kids took the seat of police motorcycles from the Grafton and Auburn departments.
Police Chief Normand Crepeau Jr. welcomed guests and participants. A demonstration was presented by K-9 Zita with handler Officer Joe Coggans assisted by Mike Baroni.
A child identification program was offered by members of the Siloam Masonic Lodge in Westborough. The Grafton Lions Club Sight Mobile provided vision and hearing screenings. Jim Gallagher conducted interviews throughout the evening for Grafton Community Television. Literature was available on topics such as crime and fire prevention, drug awareness, and health and safety issues.
The evening also included roving magician Steve Charette, face painting, free pizza, hot dogs, pies and Dunkin’ Donuts samples. Among giveaways were bicycle helmets from Direnzo Towing & Recovery, star-spangled beach balls from All Phase Glass, badge stickers from Massachusetts State Police Museum & Learning Center, and Hoodsie Cups from Boy Scout Troop 107.