As we close out our 23rd year of National Night Out and begin to prepare for the 24th edition I want to take a few minutes to reflect on this year’s program. We had one of the largest turnouts for this year’s event with about 400 people attending throughout the evening. One of the most promising aspects of this year was that we saw a lot of new faces and families at the event as well as a mix of citizens of all ages, that is very encouraging and exactly what we want to see. Unfortunately in our business most of our interactions are not in a positive setting. National Night Out is one of our programs that gives us the opportunity to have positive interaction with citizens, families and children and build a relationship that teaches the value of trusting in the Police Department. We constantly work with the Community to send the message that we are here to keep it safe and the best way to do that is to have Community support starting with the children all the way to our senior citizens. A strong partnership within the Community is truly our best weapon in keeping it safe, it only takes a few minutes of time to get involved and make a difference. Without the help of the Community we would not have the success that we do in public safety.
With recent tragedies within our Law Enforcement family nationwide it is now more important than ever to have this great relationship with our Community that we enjoy so very much. There has been an outpouring of support for our Officers in the past few weeks that has been unbelievable. We have received all kinds of baked goods and we have a wall that is full of thank you cards in the Police Station. There are so many citizens stopping our Officers to just say thank you and telling us they appreciate what we do that we can’t even keep count. These are just a few examples of the acts of kindness that have been shown to the Police Department. This support from our Community is second to none and we are very proud to have them standing behind us, it truly is a great feeling to know they take the time to let us know they appreciate what we do and in turn we will continue to do our best for them each and every day.
I want to commend every citizen that gets involved in crime prevention and steps up to make this Community a safer place. I want to especially thank our Night Out Coordinators Arlene Langendorfer, Donna Howlett, Ruby Green, Lorie Michalak Herman, and Martha DeJesus for being there again this year. Many of these coordinators have been a mainstay of National Night Out for more than 15 years and Arlene has not missed a year since the very first Night Out 23 years ago. Their dedication is amazing and we could not do this program without them.
I want to also commend all of our Police Officers who have given their time to this program every year for the last 23 years, the large number of Officers who volunteer to participate each year shows their dedication to the Community. I also want to thank the Dunkirk Fire Department for their many years of participation as well, they have been a very welcomed addition to our Night Out activities.
The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our business sponsors for their support and dedication over the years, without them we would not enjoy the success we have. Our many thanks to Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak, Tops Markets – Jay Knavel, WalMart – Brad Balentine, Southpaw Signs – Cody Britton, P&G Foods – Gary & Patty Damico, Paper Factory – Bruce & Ann Mulkin, McDonalds Restaurant, G&E Tents – Bob Bankowski & Bob Karin, Awesome Bouncers – Jason Genovese, Save a Lot – Kevin Connelly, Atlas Comfort Cabins- Roger Gloss, Music by Nick and Andy, and Tim Hortons – Dave & Gina Kron. A special thanks to WDOE/96KIX FM, The Observer, Mayor Willie Rosas, the Common Council and the Parks, Recreation and Public Works Departments for all their support. We are truly lucky to have the entire community take part in this event. With the help of everyone working together we will continue to make a difference in making our Community a safer place to live, visit and work in.
Chief David Ortolano