Police officers, residents will come together for annual National Night Out Aug. 2

Families and Hopewell Valley residents gather together with local police officers for a National Night Out event in Pennington.

Hopewell Valley families will get to meet their police officers up close and personal when they come together for a night of fun to celebrate National Night Out.

The community event takes place at Stony Brook Elementary School in Pennington from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 2.

National Night Out was introduced nationally in 1984 and is an annual community building campaign to make communities safer, according to the National Association of Town Watch.

This will be the 39th year of the campaign, which has been held in 400 towns in 23 states.

The event at Stony Brook allows police officers from Hopewell Township and Pennington to interact with the communities they serve in a more positive setting.

Community members get to talk with officers and raise any concerns they may have. National Night Out also gives residents and officers a chance to get to know each other.

Residents also have the chance to meet other emergency services personnel such as members of the local fire department and emergency medical services.

The Hopewell Township Police Department and Hopewell Township Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Local 342 is sponsoring the annual National Night Out. The Pennington Police Department has participated in the event during prior years.

As an annual tradition in Hopewell Valley, the National Night Out will feature pony rides, food, live DJ music, children handling a fire hose, honking the horn of a Public Work’s truck and a chance to dunk an officer in a dunk tank.

The school parking lot will fill with vehicles from the police, fire and emergency services for the evening. Children will be able to take photos and sit inside and inspect all the vehicles.