SHREWSBURY – The Shrewsbury Police Department hosted National Night Out, an event aimed at promoting police-community relationships, on Aug. 2.
This is the second year the police department hosted the event.
Shrewsbury Chief of Police Kevin Anderson said the event is an opportunity to unite officers with the Shrewsbury community.
“It’s great to see community members talking with officers and getting to know them on a personal level,” he said.
“Watching the kids interacting with the officers is so nice to see. It never gets old – a true sense of community,” Anderson said.
Police Officer Justin Walker said the event is a great way for the community to get to know officers.
“Normally you don’t get to interact with a police officer on a daily basis. You only see us when you don’t want to or when you need our help. This event puts us on an even playing level,” he said.
“It’s an event that we really focus on to connect with the community and to let people know it’s OK to come and talk with us,” Walker said.
The event consisted of food trucks and booths with free merchandise from small businesses, town departments and local organizations, including Pathway for Change, which is a local sexual assault crisis center, and Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services.
Among the booths was window installers Renewal by Andersen.
“The police, fire and EMS. are all here. It’s so good seeing everyone together having a good time,” said employee Sam Kleiner.
Residents came to National Night Out for a multitude of reasons. One said her family came because her son loves police and fire trucks. Another said her daughter is a fan of the food from the food truck Potato Potato. Many said they enjoyed seeing the community come together in support of public safety officials.
John Conlin, of Shrewsbury, hung out with his sons on the grass as they enjoyed fried food from the food trucks.
“It [the event] is good because it allows people to get out and meet their town officials, and see neighbors at a part of town people don’t normally go to and enjoy,” Conlin said.
Chuck Gable, of Nottingham, New Hampshire, said he came to National Night Out to spend time with his grandchildren, who were fascinated by the fire trucks.
“All the kids are having a blast,” he said.