National Night Out enters its 29th year of building connections between law enforcement and communities and improving awareness of crime and drug prevention Tuesday.
The Orangetown version is now in its fifth year, but only after a number of changes due to budget constraints within the Orangetown Police Department, which sponsored the event the last four years.
The Orangetown Police will still provide the fireworks and take part in the event as volunteers, but the Orangeburg Fire Department and St. Thomas Aquinas College took over as the primary sponsors to keep it going after much of its funding was cut from the police budget.
"The Orangeburg Fire Department, along with STAC's Security Department, feels very strongly that our community has a lot to offer our young adults," said Orangeburg Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Pete Byrne. "We are planning on having several interactive displays and events for our young men and women."
"I was really happy that they did step up," Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty said. "I was happy to see the community wanted to do the event again. They were heavily involved in it (all along) even though we initiated it."
Orangetown's National Night Out event begins 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Tappan Zee High School parking lot, with the fireworks display set for a little after 9 p.m.
"That seems to be a big draw, the fireworks show at the end," Nulty said. "We were able to find some money in our youth accounts. But the fire department and STAC are really making the thing happen."
The event creates an opportunity for people in the community to interact local police, fire and ambulance departments. Nulty said he will be there as will officers there to help in recruiting future members of the police department. A big part of the goal is to make sure the public knows Rockland County will be holding Police Officer Exams Nov. 17. Sept. 26 is the last day to file.
There will also be volunteers and vehicles on hand from many of Orangetown's fire departments and ambulance corps as well as other organizations.
"All of the volunteer organizations that make this town great need young people to join," Byrne said. "Various fire departments from Orangetown will be on hand as will the South Orangetown Ambulance Corp and the Lions Club. In addition the National Guard's Skate Park and the Rockland County Technical Rescue Team will be on location."
The skate park is usually a major draw for the event along with the fireworks.