The Bernards Township Police PBA is again presenting National Night Out, a national event designed to bring together police and their communities, at a new location at Ridge High School. Township Police Patrolman Alex McKnight said the event, to be held in conjunction with the Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 7.
The event had been held for several previous years, but was discontinued in 2008 because of budgetary reasons. It was revived again last August and held at Dewy Meadow Village.
This year's event — drawing together police, firefighters and other emergency responders, and many local businesses — is being moved to the high school off South Finley Avenue because that property is right behind the township police headquarters, said Al LiCata, executive director of the chamber.
Admission and many of the activities and even some refreshments are free.
LiCata said last year's National Night Out was attended by hundreds, or maybe a thousand people over the course of the evening.
Along with fun, many of the displays and events will have a public safety component, he said.
For example, there will also be information on a child ID program, a demonstration of an extrication from a vehicle and reminders to drive hands-free with cell phones, LiCata said.
Police officers in the PBA donate their time to host the event, while Police Chief Brian Bobowicz allows the department's equipment to be used for displays at National Night Out, McKnight said.
Bobowicz and LiCata both are very supportive of the event, he said.
Chamber member businesses are being asked to consider operating one of the children's games provided by the PBA and the chamber, he said.
Chamber business members also are needed to volunteer for the evening to hand out safety information along with chamber information, as well as to assist with the child ID program that night, he said.
To become involved, or for more information, phone LiCata 908-339-5937.
He said the evening again is expected to feature pony rides, and other activities. Somerset County Towing, Millington Savings Bank and the A&P Supermarket are among the businesses who will donate items, water or refreshments or services for National Night Out.
After the official event is over, the public is invited to watch an outdoor movie, yet to be chosen, LiCata said.