National Night Out Celebration in Clark Park

By Sue Moore

Vicksburg is joining the National Night Out program this year, 34 years after the program to connect communities with law enforcement was organized.

The program will be held in Clark Park from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The idea was conceived to bring public safety units to the people they are serving in hopes of connecting with residents throughout America, Police Chief Scott Sanderson said. He saw the good that was accomplished in his years with Kalamazoo Public Safety and decided to bring it to Vicksburg.

“National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live,” according to their website.

“It’s a night out against crime,” Sanderson said. “The good news is that Vicksburg has very minimal crime. This is a very safe community and through our outreach, we plan to keep it that way.”

Other first responders have joined with Sanderson for the event. That includes the Village Department of Public Works, South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority and South County Emergency Medical Services staff. They will have their vehicles on display in the park.

Hot dogs will be prepared by the Fire Department staff and drinks will be available, all donated by Family Fare. It will take place rain or shine.

Besides the one-time showcase event, police have been meeting with kids to play kickball or whiffle ball once a month. They will be outside at the Centennial development again to play with kids in the neighborhood on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 5-6 p.m.

The first National Night Out in 1984 was joined by 400 communities with a total population of 2.5 million. In a recent year, 16,000 communities with a population of 38 million participated.

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