On the first Tuesday in August, law enforcement personnel from across the country gathered in their communities to celebrate National Night Out, including at Briarcliff Woods Park in Montgomery's Season Ridge subdivision.
National Night Out, started in 1984, is aimed at promoting and enhancing relationships between law enforcement and community members, in order to make neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities safer for all residents.
Montgomery Village Trustee Doug Marecek praised the annual event as "a way to promote a little interaction with the police and the community and the fire department, to get the community out and about."
"It's just a nice opportunity for everybody to get out, meet some police officers, see some fire trucks, and let the kids play a little bit," Marecek said. "Community outreach has been fantastic. ... It's always nice to have the kids interact with the police and know that they're friends, not foes."
Local parents Shawn Flaar and her husband, Rick, provided food for the National Night Out, their first since moving to the area. "We just decided to do something to bring the neighbors in to get to meet everybody," Shawn said. "It's getting to know your neighbors."
Oswego Fire Department Lt. Eric Roberts described National Night Out as "exposure" for different departments.
"It's about being able to come into the community with the people that we serve; on their worst days, for them to be able to see a familiar face on their worst day is important to us," Roberts said. "It's all about the public's view. We are public servants."