Residents in Aberdeen Township and in Matawan celebrated National Night Out on Aug. 2.
According to the website natw.org, “National Night Out is an annual community-
building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood
camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.”
Aberdeen Township residents celebrated National Night Out at Guisti Field with a live performance by Asbury Fever, food trucks and family friendly activities. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with local officials.
Representatives of the Aberdeen Township Police Department, Aberdeen Township Fire District No. 1, Bayshore EMS and the Cliffwood Fire Department were on hand to field questions from residents about the services they provide to the community.
Emergency services vehicles were on site for attendees to see up close. Children and adults alike examined the equipment and the interiors of police SUVs, ambulances and fire trucks.
Classic car owners were on hand to display their special vehicles during a car show.
Children enjoyed bouncy houses, had their faces painted and played with hula-hoops. Many attendees grabbed a bite to eat and sat near a stage as the members of Asbury Fever performed throughout the evening.
Behind the Matawan Municipal Community Center at Hourihan Field, residents gathered to enjoy National Night Out festivities hosted by the Matawan Police Department and Matawan PBA Local 179.
Upon entering the field, guests were welcomed by an interactive showcase of emergency services vehicles. There was a firetruck with its ladder extended, an ambulance with EMS personnel and a tactical police SUV.
Attendees made their way past tables and examined displays that showed off equipment that is used by local law enforcement agencies.
Members of the Matawan Fire Department’s Washington Engine Company cooked and served free hamburgers and hotdogs. Residents relaxed and enjoyed the evening as a DJ mixed music.
Children enjoyed the playground and a bouncy house as their parents causally spoke with local officials and law enforcement personnel.
Police Chief Thomas J. Falco said the event allows residents to socialize with law enforcement officers and other emergency services personnel.
The chief said he believes connections that are made at National Night Out create more trust and familiarity between cops and community members.
“It helps in the event there’s an emergency or a situation where the police are dealing with you as a resident. You may remember the officer from National Night Out … we are very community-oriented and this is just one of the events we do.
“We try to change it up to draw people in and get them a little bit more in touch with the community and get to know the men and women who work here,” Falco said.
National Night Out has been celebrated annually across the United States since 1984 and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
The initiative began with neighbors sitting outside their homes with a porch light turned on. The premise was that members of a community could familiarize themselves with those around them by sitting outside for the evening and meeting one another.