The Palos Hills Police Department hosted its sixth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street. (Photos by Kelly White)

The Palos Hills Police Department hosted its sixth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street. (Photos by Kelly White)

Palos Hills builds bonds between police, residents at National Night Out

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By Kelly White

Palos Hills officials are always looking for ways to form bonds between the city and the community.

Doing just that, the city held its sixth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street.

“The city of Palos Hills is again proud to sponsor our annual National Night Out, in recognition of our men and women in law enforcement,” Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett said. “This event brings our citizens and law enforcement people together for a celebration of our community in the spirit of cooperation and understanding of how we can continue keep Palos Hills a safe community.”

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Mikolah Dubiel, 5, of Palos Hills, had fun at Palos Hills’ National Night Out on Tuesday night.

The event that promotes police-community partnerships not only in Palos Hills, but all over the United States, is held annually on the first Tuesday in the month of August. The event helps to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts.

The goal behind the initiative is to strengthen the relationship between neighbors and local law enforcement.

On Tuesday night, Palos Hills’ police department was on-site to talk with residents and provide helpful information at their National Night Out. Residents were also able to tour police, fire and emergency vehicles and take photos of children sitting inside of the vehicles while pretending to drive them.
Included as well was live musical entertainment, children’s bounce houses, face painting, free giveaways, will they lasted, and free hotdogs and other refreshments. Gift bags were also given to the first 250 children in attendance.

“Most an importantly an opportunity for our citizens to interact with our police officers on law enforcement services,” Bennett said.

All of the city’s public officials were also actively involved in the planning of the city’s National Night Out that they said provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

“The men and women of the Palos Hills Police Department were excited to invite the public to National Night Out,” Palos Hills Police Chief Jeffrey Cucio said. “This was a wonderful event for citizens and members of the police department to interact and create community partnerships. This is an outstanding event every year and we always look forward to seeing everyone.”

New this year was Bingo.

“Bingo is unique to our city’s event as we also wanted to offer activity for older adults to participate in,” Palos Hills Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kristin Violante said.

The free event was organized by the city of Palos Hills, the city’s Community Resource Department, the Palos Hills Police Department, North Palos Fire Protection District and Green Hills Public Library District.

“We come out every year,” Monica Bafia, of Palos Hills, said. “This is our community and it’s a great community. We love supporting everyone in it and everything that they do.”

This was the 39th year that the event has been held nationally. A total of 16,500 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases celebrated the event along with the city of Palos Hills.

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The City of Palos Hills hosted its sixth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street, Palos Hills.

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