GUILDERLAND If you’re looking for a good night out, you won’t have to look too far in Guilderland.
The Guilderland Police Department Community Service Unit is hosting the local Night Out, which is the nationwide event’s 30th anniversary, on Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Tawasentha Park. The national community building campaign aims to increase crime prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, along with letting criminals know “neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”
For last year’s event, Guilderland even stood out nationally and received an award for its community participation at the event, with estimates placing the crowd around 4,000.
“We were probably one of the largest ones in the nation, at least local,” event committee member Amy Boyt said. “It makes me very proud with the number of people that come out to support us.”
Police Sgt. Roger Ginder said the event has grown since it started several years ago, with only around 50 to 100 people coming out to the first one. Ginder said the department is “very big” on community relations and services.
“It is really a way for the community to come out for free and get to know each other. We believe the best way to prevent crime is to get to know your neighbors,” Ginder said. “It definitely helps us too, because when we have that many people from the community coming in, we get to know them and they get to know us.”
Allowing people to see police in a different light is also important, he said.
“There really is more to the police department than arresting people and giving tickets,” Ginder said.
The event includes several activities, such as demonstrations by the department’s K-9 Rocky, rappelling exercises, and information about how women can protect themselves against sexual crimes. Altamont police will bring their horses, and an ambulance will be onsite to allow people a look into the vehicle at a less stressful moment.