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  • Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.
    Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.
  • Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.
    Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.
  • Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.
    Families visiting Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on the evening of August 1 will find free food, children’s games and prizes, police and fire displays, and entertainment as part of National Night Out.

National Night Out Offers A Fun Evening While Strengthening The Community

Sharon Mager
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July 12, 2017

Anne Arundel County’s third annual National Night Out for the Eastern District is set for 5:30pm to 8:00pm on August 1 at Earleigh Heights Fire Hall, and organizers expect it to be a blast. The widely attended outing is part of a nationwide campaign to bring neighbors together and enhance the relationship between police and communities. Last year, almost 3,000 people attended the Severna Park event.

There will be free food, children’s games and prizes, community booths, police and fire displays, and entertainment. A color guard demonstration will kick off the event, followed by the singing of the national anthem.

Sam Tanner, who serves on the event planning committee, said people enjoy the free food and entertainment, but they especially like the carnival games for kids.

Sally Burton, chair of the entertainment committee, said, “The entire evening is filled with a wide variety of entertaining and educational events to enable families to interact with law enforcement staff and community service organizations in a fun and friendly environment.”

Attendees will find a variety of local acts inside and outside the hall. The Arnold School of Rock house band will perform outside at 6:30pm. The Chesapeake Harmony Chorus will sing barbershop style a cappella harmony on the inside stage. The students and staff of Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi will perform a martial arts demonstration.

“One of the most exciting events is the police canine demonstration, where the police dogs demonstrate their expertise in sniffing out explosives and drugs,” Burton said.

Anne Arundel County Police Lieutenant Fred Crosse said the event is always first-class and it brings people together. “That's what it's all about," he said. “We’ve always had a strong relationship with the community, certainly in the Eastern District. These events help strengthen those bonds with the community and provide a good atmosphere to let people see what we do behind the scenes.”

Crosse said that with the current opioid crisis, the event also provides an opportunity to bring awareness and to educate people about the issue.

“You’ll be amazed at the number of people involved, and the quality of work [event chairman] John Spencer and others are doing on a volunteer basis,” Crosse said. “They put on such a great event!”

Spencer said he’s always had a good relationship with the police, though he has been a victim of crime several times. He stresses that it’s important to teach kids to admire and respect police officers.

He tells the story about a woman who was getting pulled over. She had a couple of kids in the car, maybe 4 or 5 years old. She turned around and told the boys to be quiet or the police officer would arrest them. That behavior gives children a fearful and negative image of the police, Spencer said.

“We’ve got a great bunch of officers. They do a great job,” Spencer said.

Spencer said the Pasadena Business Association has been especially supportive, committing $1,000 in cash and donations.

So, with all of the planning involved, is the event making a difference? Spencer said that’s hard to measure, but seeing kids laughing and interacting with police officers tells the story.

The Eastern District National Night Out is sponsored by the Pasadena Business Association and hosted by the Eastern District police in partnership with the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce (GSPACC), Greater Severna Park Council, Cape St. Claire Improvement Association, the Broadneck Council of Communities, Greater Pasadena Council, and the Arnold Preservation Council. For more information, visit www.NationalNightOutEasternDistrict.com.


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