National Night Out brings hundreds to Jones Park
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - After an absence last year because of the pandemic, National Night Out is back with events Tuesday night in communities across our area led by members of law enforcement.
This includes an event held in Appleton at Jones Park.
“It’s really an opportunity to come together, spend some time together, get to know each other and an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the community and law enforcement which is so, so important,” said Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford.
Besides Jones Park, thirty neighborhood watch parties were also scattered across the city, so people could get to know those behind the badge.
During the events, people are asked to lock their doors, and turn on their outside lights as a show of support.
Paula Meyer of Appleton said, “They’re just human beings. They’re my neighbors, I have two that are my neighbors and I really love them and their families and I just think it’s really important to see them as human beings, not just as a police officer.”
Across the state, 121 different communities are participating in National Night Out, which was launched almost four decades ago.
All of this, after a year and a half of tension between police and the community in some major cities nationwide.
Chief Todd Thomas added, “It gives us the chance again to show the human side of law enforcement where we are just like them. Our families are down here too, our kids are down here. There’s a lot of discussion and a lot of stress in everyone’s life the last year and a half, and sometimes it’s just that everybody needs to take a deep breath and realize that we’re all in this together.”
To show that lighter side, many, including the mayor, signed up for the dunk tank.
“We were raising money for a very good cause, the canine program and this is my first time in the dunk tank since taking office and got to say, it felt pretty good,” Woodford said.
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