National Night Out promises to unify neighborhoods

Courtesy photo Club member Rafi at last year’s National Night Out standing with group of Emergency Responders.

NASHUA – On Tuesday, from 5-8 p.m., members of the Nashua Police Department, Police Athletic League, Nashua Fire Department and the Nashua community will join together at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua to celebrate their allegiance against crime during the 35th annual National Night Out.

At the event, participants can enjoy live entertainment, a dunk tank, police versus youth hockey games, touch-a-truck, safety demonstrations, fun activities with local organizations, restaurant food samples, raffles, give-a-ways and more. For the second-straight year, the event also will celebrate those who recently graduated from the NPD Police Youth Academy, a training program developed to educate youth on effective police interactions. New this year, Jon DeLena, the assistant special agent in charge in New Hampshire for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will be delivering a special DEA presentation focused on the opioid crisis and provide resources for those affected by it.

The event is co-hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua and Nashua PAL, and sponsored nationwide by the National Association of Town Watch and Target Stores.

Co-planning this community event is Ed Lecius, the community policing coordinator, and Janeth Orozco-Sanchez, the individual services director for the Stahl Teen Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua.

“What we’re hoping to do this year is highlight the positives of the youth in Nashua, especially those graduating from the Police Youth Academy,” Lecius said. “This is a night to bring neighbors together by giving them an opportunity to get to know each other, re-establish friendships and take away information that will help them in their everyday lives.”

Orozco-Sanchez added, “I am extremely pleased to be involved in planning this amazing community-wide event and share important information on how to keep Nashua a safe, healthy and (a) fun community. Our Club is excited for everyone to come together and celebrate all of the police officials and first responders who work hard to keep us safe.”

National Night Out is a unique crime and drug prevention event designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

“Making our communities safer and more caring is what PAL is all about,” said Nashua PAL Executive Director Shaun Nelson. “We love being a part of National Night Out each year, celebrating alongside Nashua Police Department, our partner agencies and the community.”

Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Norman Bouthilette said, “We invite everyone in the community to come out and join us Aug. 7 from 5-8 p.m. at One Positive Place! This is a night for Nashua to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement to make Nashua a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

For more information, contact Janeth Orozco-Sanchez, individual services director at 883-0523, ext. 225 or by email at jorozcosanchez@bgcn.com.