By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Police Department is participating in the National Night Out campaign this year for the first time.
“This year, after COVID and everything else, what better way to get the community together than to do our first National Night Out,” said officer Danielle Durette, who is organizing the event for the department.
National Night Out is an annual campaign designed to promote partnerships and camaraderie between police and the community. In Naugatuck, the event is Aug. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Linden Park on North Main Street.
Durette said the event is tailored for youth, but everyone is welcome. Police officers from different units within the department will give demonstrations, including the department’s three K-9 teams and the bicycle unit. She said officers in the bicycle unit will also share some tips they learned in training, like how to do repairs.
Members of the Naugatuck Valley Regional Accident Investigation Team are planning to set up a mock accident scene, Durette added, for youth to investigate and learn the dangers of driving under the influence and distracted driving.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Naugatuck Police Department sought to increase its community involvement by hosting events, including an ice cream social for children on the Green.
“We want to pick back up where we left off,” Durette said.
Durette said the department is hopeful the National Night Out event becomes a staple in the community and it can get larger each year.
The event will feature raffles and food. Police officers are planning to grill up hamburgers and hot dogs to compliment food donated by local restaurants.
The event is free and paid for through donations and sponsorships. The department is still accepting donations and sponsorships.
For information or to donate, people can email Durette at email@example.com. People can also donate through Venmo by sending money to @naugatuckpoliceunion with donations labeled “National Night Out.”