Jackson, Plumsted Host National Night Out Events

Captain Marvel cools off in a dunk tank. His secret identity is that of a Jackson Township police officer who was enjoying his time as part of this year’s Jackson Township National Night Out event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON/PLUMSTED – Jackson and Plumsted’s police departments were among many throughout the state to host National Night Out events and both were very well attended.

  National Night Out promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make communities safer, more caring places to live. It also provides a tremendous opportunity to bring police and other first responders together with residents under positive circumstances.

Members of the Jackson Township Police department conduct a child identification program during this year’s National Night Out event held for the first time at Johnson Park. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  “It’s all about building community,” Jackson Police Capt. Mary Nelson remarked. She returned to coordinate this year’s event for the department.

  This year’s event marked a change in location from the Jackson Shopping Plaza (ShopRite) at North County Line and Cook roads where it was held for many years, to Johnson Memorial Park at Kierych Memorial Drive.

  Township Police Chief Matthew Kunz said, “we have had a formula for success that we build on every year. We invite the same people – and more – and we try to advertise it well to the community. It always turns out really well. The weather is perfect. This year the credit goes to Captain Nelson who organized the event. This is her second year and she has done a fantastic job.”

The Kiwanis Club of Jackson were cooking burgers and hot dogs for the event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  The event featured rides, DJ music, children’s games, inflatable attractions and allowed many township organizations and places of worship a chance to showcase their groups and seek out new members.

  Members of Jackson PBA 168 were there in force. One of the officers enjoyed cooling off in a dunk tank dressed as the superhero Captain Marvel. Many children enjoyed their chance to knock the officer off the platform – but if they missed, in heroic fashion, he took the dip anyway.

  Among the many organizations present were members of the Kiwanis Club of Jackson who were cooking burgers and hot dogs. The Jackson Moms Club members were giving out bookmarks, pencils and colorful erasers. The group Remembering Brian Kanterman, Inc. had a free raffle for a T-shirt and a 50/50 raffle for their K-9 and service gift auction to be held on October 12 at Addison Park. Chabad of Jackson had a coin pitching game for prizes.

  In Plumsted Township, the National Night Out program was held on the grounds of the New Egypt High School on Evergreen Road. It  ran from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring a pie eating contest involving first responders. There was also a petting zoo, carnival games, back yard games, sports games, archery, a balloon artist, face painting, race car picture moments, construction vehicles and fantasy scene photos.

Plumsted police officer Sarah Talty and her daughter enjoy some fun at Plumsted’s National Night Event held at the New Egypt High School. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  “The weather turned out nice,” Plumsted Chief Earl Meroney said. “Officer Matthew Goldfluss set this up. He did a great job. He is a patrolman and has been with us less than a year. He put this on and ran with it and did a great job.”

  “This is the second year we’ve done it. Before us the fire department did it. They joined in with us,” the chief added.

  The New Egypt American Legion cooked up some burgers, hot dogs and fries and there were several local vendors who sold steak sandwiches, ice cream, Spanish cuisine, barbeque, and cupcakes.

Many a child were caught in the web of fun provided at this Spider-Man inflatable slide during this year’s Plumsted Township National Night Out event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Events like this foster the relationship between neighbors, law enforcement, and first responders, while enhancing a true sense of community.

  Nationwide, Night Outs have been held since 1984, and began with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes. Over the 39-year span, 38 million neighbors have participated in National Night Out events in over 17,000 communities throughout the United States.