BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Blair County held its 37th National Night Out Against Crime event Tuesday at the Duncansville Antique Depot located on Third Ave.
National Night Out was a free event that ran from 6 to 9 p.m. It is an annual campaign that promotes partnerships between police and the community, according to its website. The Blair County Sheriff’s Office said this event is also being held to heighten awareness for crime and drug prevention and raise awareness for the drug and alcohol epidemic.
A parade began at six from NAPA Auto Parts to the Depot parking lot on Third Avenue. Then, a fireworks display happened at 9 p.m. Before the parade, there was a car show—anyone from the community brought in their trucks, motorcycles, and classic cars. Families also got to do fingerprinting and have balloon animals.
Many police officers were excited about this event because it allows them to further build their relationship with the community. Blair County Sheriff James Ott says that events like the National Night Out allow the officers to be more human.
“You’ll see little kids walk up to us and talk to us, families that want to talk to us. We want that,” Ott said. “We want to be able to have that interact with the community and know that they can approach us and talk to us and know we’re going to listen.”
In Altoona, they were also holding their National Night Out in Heritage Plaza. This was the third year the department had the event.
Hundreds of locals were welcomed to food vendors, community services, and even a dunk tank. Mother Judy Green saw her daughter was excited to talk one-on-one with officers and appreciated what this event could teach children.
“It’s nice. It shows the kids a lot like my daughter used to be afraid of the police actually,” Green said. “And I tell her ‘you’re okay.’ I think this is a nice way to show them you don’t have to be afraid.”
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