Local departments, including Milford, Miami Township, and Loveland, community safety partners, and local businesses set up booths in front of Target in Milford and provided a variety of activities and entertainment from 6 – 9 p.m.
Those who attended the event were able to see a police helicopter, tour a SWAT command vehicle, spray a fire hose, participate in demonstrations, take a ride in a hot air balloon and much more.
“I think it is an awesome idea,” Stephanie Loranzan, who attended the event with her family, said. “It brings the community together.”
Loranzan said her daughter, Ciara, 7, was able to go inside a fire truck and learn more about the fire department during the event.
Celine Smith, a Milford resident, came to the event with her family and they were one of many families to stop by Clermont County Safe Communities’ booth, where there was a seat belt demonstration.
“It was a good visual for them,” Smith said about the demonstration that showed what happens to a driver who is not wearing a seat belt.
Smith said her family enjoyed getting out and participating in all the activities during National Night Out.
“It’s been great,” she said.
Martha Enriquez and Carol Kisner, who manned the Safe Communities booth in orange prison suits, promoted wearing seat belts and also promoted the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign which will begin next week.
“Our display is a prison cell to emphasize that it is illegal,” Enriquez said about impaired driving.
Enriquez said last year 767 Clermont County residents were charged for driving while impaired. She said 53 Clermont County residents have been killed in alcohol-related crashes in the last 10 years.
“It’s a conscious decision and totally avoidable,” Enriquez said.
She encouraged people to designate a sober driver or find another form of transportation if they know they will be drinking.
Enriquez said they were glad to be able to participate in National Night Out this year.
“There is a nice big crowd, it is well-organized and a lot of people from the community,” she said.
Kisner said they have also had a great audience for their demonstrations and information.
“We have talked to a lot of young people,” she said.
Nick Brown, a fire fighter at Milford Fire Department, helped children shoot a water hose during the event and said he thought things were going well.
“We wanted to be a part of the night out experience,” Brown said about his department. “Our chief is big about the community and letting the city know what we do and what we stand for.”
He said allowing the children to shoot a water hose was fun for them and also provides an opportunity to teach about fire safety and awareness.
Event organizer Megan Bovenzi with the Milford Police Department said National Night Out turned out exactly how she was picturing it this year.
“This is exactly what I was going for,” Bovenzi said looking around at the crowd. “I wanted it to be an exciting time but also informational.”
Bovenzi said local police departments, fire departments, community safety organizations and local businesses all helped make the event possible.
“There was no cost to the department,” Bovenzi said. “Just great ideas and great people coming together.”
Bovenzi said the event was also great for local police and fire fighters to get to interact with members of the community while they are not on duty.
“This gave them an opportunity to look and learn and talk to safety representatives in the community,” she said. “I would like to see more interaction between those in the community and those who serve.”
Several other townships and villages also participated in National Night Out across Clermont County.