Seacoast Police Department prepares for national evening On August 2, a national campaign to strengthen the ties between the police and the communities they serve.
The Hampton Police Department will host its first National Night at Tuck Field from 5-8 p.m. in Hampton. Exeter Police will hold their event from 4pm to 7pm at Swasey Parkway in Exeter.
‘(It’s) a great opportunity for law enforcement and other first responders to catch up with our neighbours, have a little fun and share positive experiences together,’ said the Exeter Police Detective , Bruce Page.
National Night Out was started by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States in 1984. It started small but has grown over the years to involve hundreds of communities holding block parties, festivals, parades , barbecues and various other community events across the US
Hampton Deputy Police Chief Alex Reno said hosting a national night was one of his and Chief David Hobbs’ goals when they were sworn in to their posts in 2021.
“We just thought it would be a great opportunity for us to bring in our agents and interact with the community like they often do,” Reno said.
The Hampton event is a collaborative effort between the police department, Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce and the city’s parks and recreation department.
Reno said family night will include face painting, field games, a dunk tank, music from DJ Jen Cruz and a Touch-A-Truck event. There will also be demonstrations from the NH State Police Helicopter, Hampton and State Police K-9 Teams, Hampton Police Horse Patrol and Patrol a motorcycle.
Food vendors include Big Bad Food Truck, Old Salt, CR’s Restaurant, and Suzie’s Sweets. Kona Ice will be offering free shaved ice treats thanks to the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce.
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Reno said the most important component of the event is the community.
“I just hope it’s a success and we have a good turnout,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to see what the police department has to offer the community…and for the community to see the police department in a positive light – we’re part of that community.”
Exeter will host its third national night.
“We really hope to build on the success of last year’s national night,” Page said.
Page, who is also the department’s community relations officer, said their event was sponsored by Pairpoint Group, the city’s Kiwanis club, the Knights of Columbus and Staples.
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Festivities include police and fire vehicles, PEA security vehicles, Exeter DPW trucks, children’s games, food trucks, balloon animals, NH Department of Fish and Game gear and live music of a Beatles tribute band, The Two of Us.
There will also be puppies from hero puppiesa non-profit organization that places support dogs with veterans and first responders.
“People will be able to get a first look at Exeter’s comfort dog,” Page said.
The dunk tank will also be back this year with the opportunity to dunk former coach Daryl Browne and many others.
Although the event is free, food truck items like Friends 4 OBA’s Asian Kitchens and Lexi’s Burgers must be purchased.
Page said this event could not have happened without the help of the administrators of Swasey Parkway.
“Get down, enjoy the food truck, enjoy the music and go to your local officers,” he said. “Get to know us on a personal level.”