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National Night Out is chance for police, community to fight crime together

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
July 8, 2010
— It’s a night out, and you won’t have to spend a dime to enjoy it.

The Janesville Police Department is hosting its 26th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at police headquarters, 100 N. Jackson St.


“Expect to interact with police in a positive way, be fed and to have a good time,’’ said officer Chad Sullivan, who is organizing the event.


“It’s all about having fun,” he said. “So come on down. There will be great entertainment for everybody.’’


Last year, the event attracted 1,500 people.


National Night, according to an event brochure, is intended to:


-- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness.


-- Generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs.


-- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnership.


-- Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.


“National Night Out is a celebration of police departments nationwide giving citizens a chance to meet officers and see resources in a way that is fun and not scary for kids. Some kids are afraid of anybody in uniforms. So we’ll have some fun, play games with the kids and give out free food,’’ Sullivan said.


A 5K run and 1-mile walk are new this year.


“It gives us a chance to reach out to a different demographic and make it a more family event,’’ Sullivan said.


Some downtown storeowners on the run and walk route are planning to pass out hors d’oeuvres. Others will give out coupons and candy, he said.


“I’ve encouraged them to get creative,’’ Sullivan said. “There will be a lot going on on the route.’’


The run starts on North Franklin Street, veers onto the bike trail near Mercy Hospital and continues into the Mole & Sadler’s subdivision before turning around and heading back to police headquarters.


The walk starts on North Jackson Street then continues on Court, River, Main and Milwaukee streets before ending back at police headquarters.


Police officers will run in the race, and a top cop award will be given to the officer who runs the fastest, Sullivan said.


Run/walk proceeds will benefit the Janesville Area CrimeStoppers and the Janesville Professional Police Association, which gives annual scholarships to graduating seniors at both Janesville high schools.


“The money they raise is used to buy equipment for the police department. It goes to necessary things and not into a fund,’’ Sullivan said.


In addition to food, games, music and fingerprinting, officers will demonstrate the department’s Tasers, police dog and SWAT team. Local nonprofit organizations will provide informational packets about their groups.


“They give out a ton of stuff for the kids.’’ Sullivan said.


There will be a jump machine, a chance to dunk a police officer in the dunk tank plus an opportunity to meet the police chief and deputy chiefs.


“This event will let people who commit crime know we have community support,” he said. “When we get people in numbers in a positive way, we can fight crime together.’’


If you go

Who: Janesville Police Department


What: 26th Annual National Night Out


When: 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 3, rain or shine.


Where: Outside the Janesville Police Department, 100 N. Jackson St.


Cost: Free


Activities: Music, games, food, an appearance by the K-9 squad, a presentation and taser demonstration from the Special Weapons And Tactics team, a display of new police department squad cars, Janesville Fire Department ambulance and engine tours, plus child fingerprinting.


In conjunction, with National Night Out, the Janesville Area CrimeStoppers and the Janesville Professional Police Association will host a 5k run and 1-mile family walk.


Advance registration, before Friday, July 23, is $25 for the 5k run, which includes a T-shirt. Cost of the family walk is $35, which includes the cost for an entire family and one T-shirt. Late or race-day registration is $30 for the 5k run and $40 for the 1-mile family walk.


Register online at ci.janesville.wi.us/Library/new/NNO%205K.pdf, or send payment to Janesville Police Department, Attn. Chad Sullivan, 100 N. Jackson St., Janesville, WI 53545. One entry form is required per person but multiple entries can be made with a single payment in one envelope.

No pets, bikes or skates will be allowed on the course. Strollers are allowed for the family walk.


Check in for the run/walk is from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Events start at 5 p.m. and awards will be handed out at 6 p.m. For more information, call (608) 755-3134.



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