Milford Police team up with safety professionals to celebrate national, community event

Milford’s finest are teaming up with free meals in hand to offer a once-a-year event to the community in August.

National Night Out, a community- building experience promoting policing and other safety-related professionals, is celebrated in Milford every year — this year’s event will be Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Bicentennial Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“This is our 25th year,” Sgt. Robert Masten said. “It initially got started as a small event at the library amphitheater. At the time, there was a national movement for national night out, and it fit right in with the community policing initiative that we were working on at the time.”

That first year, the Milford Police Department celebrated National Night Out with snow cones and the First State Forest Band comprised of law enforcement officers.

“Now, it has grown into an event that, based on the size of the atten dance, we’ve had to transition over to Bicentennial Park. And now, we still have the bands, but we also have numerous groups and other law enforcement agencies for a wide variety of safety displays. And we provide a meal now,” he added.

Pizza is donated each year by Grotto Pizza and chicken by Mountaire Farms. The Greenwood Fire Company then comes out to cook their famous chicken for the Milford community. Ice cream is also available to the public for free from Vanderwende’s and drinks from Pepsi Bottling Ventures.

“The actual goal of Night Out hasn’t changed at all as far as continuing to build strong relationships with the community and heighten their awareness of safety related topics and the services we offer,” Sgt. Masten said.

This year, night out in Milford will include a shredding event in partnership with WSFS Bank. “They’ll bring in a shred truck which is very important when you get into protecting yourself from identity theft. For no charge, you could come there and shred any sensitive document you have,” Sgt. Masten said. “Carlisle Fire Company has been with us for years at our nights out, too, and they provide younger children some great opportunities to explore their equipment as well as promoting their safety message.”

Other safety messages, such as propane safety, outdoors safety and CPR experiences will also be found throughout the night. Brandywine Counseling will be on hand, as well, to promote their services that help the community.

“It all comes together to provide -lot of information to people, as well as have a good time. Fortunately, those guys had the foresight to get it started and those of us who followed had a good foundation to build on,” he said. “We’ve never gotten a firm count, but, if weather cooperates, we’ve had estimates where we felt like we were well in excess of 1,000 people. Obviously, there’s not -tremendous amount of expenses in it because Mountaire, Grotto Pizza and Pepsi completely support the event at no cost to us. And some other portions of the event we’ll pay for through grants and some portions will come from money we budget each year to host it.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs or blankets to enjoy music from Indian River, formerly known as the Clifford Keith Band, who will play for the duration of the event.

“We love the city of Milford. We love the history. We love the people that work hard to preserve that history but more than that, we also love the people that make it safe, too,” Indian River Frontrunner Clifford Keith said. “We’re happy to be a part of Milford Night Out. We just got -new recording ready, and we’re excited to show Milford what we’ve been working on all winter long. Sincerely, we’re flattered that the city wants us to be a part of Milford, and we’re happy to celebrate with them.”

For more information on Milford’s National Night Out, visit the Milford Police Department’s Facebook page.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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