Tuesday, November 2 2021

The annual event was celebrated Tuesday evening at Cible Massillon to thank the men and women who wear blue.

MASSILLON police emphasize communication as the primary means of helping to keep neighborhoods safe.

Sgt. Nick Antonides, of the Massillon Police Department, said people should contact police when they see something suspicious at home, at work or on the road, regardless of the severity of the situation.

This message was reinforced by law enforcement officers from several departments on Tuesday night at the Target parking lot at Meadows Plaza, which was filled with personnel occupying police cars, a fire engine, a mobile communication truck and a SWAT vehicle as part of National Night Out.

Officers are seeing an increase in property and vehicle thefts this year across the city, Antonides said. For example, if a stranger appears to be walking with a neighbor’s lawn mower in plain sight, a call to the police is likely warranted.

“One of our biggest supporters are the people involved and in contact with us,” said the sergeant, noting that citizens who might be uncomfortable calling 911 with a simple question can dial. the non-emergency police line, which is 330. -832-9811.

A simple situation worth calling the non-urgent number could be a welfare check of an elderly neighbor who has not been seen for some time, a dog that continuously barks, an open burn, or a bonfire near a residence or a noise complaint, such as loud music, says Antonide.

General security assistance

National Night Out helps educate the public that approaching a police officer is also cautious if someone has a general safety question or concern, Antonides said. Massillon police hosted the annual event, joining a national celebration. The approximately four o’clock shindig began at five o’clock.

Thunderstorms struck the area just as the event began, and again about 90 minutes later. But at least a few hundred people continued to walk around to greet local police, firefighters and medics.

Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Stark County Park District and Ohio Highway Patrol Security Forces, as well as Canton, Brewster, Navarre, and Perry and Lawrence Township Police Departments have joined the Massillon police during the evening.

The community development campaign aims to promote police-community partnerships to make neighborhoods safer and more compassionate. The vision behind National Night Out is to establish a sense of community and to bring police and residents together under positive circumstances.

“The bonds with people increase their willingness to call for help,” said Antonides. “This event helps to raise awareness that we (the police) are there.”

Dave Brown, Chief of the Lawrence Township Police Department, agreed.

“It allows people to see the best side of our job, and not just react to bad incidents,” he said.

Interaction appreciated

Massillon resident Christine Thomas brought three of her grandchildren to the Night Out. She called the event family-oriented and something that sheds a positive light on those in uniform.

“It allows the kids to get involved in the police and the fire department and see that they are good people,” said Thomas, who was accompanied by grandsons Noah, 5, and Blake, 3, in plus 10-year-old granddaughter Natalie Sanchez.

“I love to see the cars and how they help us throughout the day,” added Sanchez.

During the event, the children took turns in an engine from the Massillon fire department, while parents and loved ones took photos. Police cars were open so children and adults could peek inside and turn on lights and sirens.

A US Army recruiter was stationed in the parking lot, handing out information to potential recruits and their family members. A sheriff’s office mobile communication station was also parked at the site for people to visit, along with an armored vehicle from the Canton regional SWAT team.

Contact Steven at 330-775-1134 or at steven.grazier@indeonline.com.
On Twitter: @sgrazierINDE

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