National Night Out brings Helena community together

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – The parking lot at the Helena Marketplace located along Shelby County 17 in Helena turned into a makeshift exhibit for the Helena police and fire department thanks to the celebration of National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The National Night Out Program is designed to promote community partnerships between citizens and their public safety providers and promote neighborhood spirit. The community building campaign promotes neighborhood camaraderie to help make neighborhoods and communities better and safer.

For a few hours on Aug. 7, Helena citizens and their families came out to meet the uniformed officers and first responders who help keep Helena safe in a relaxed environment that featured live music, hot dogs, the Helena police and fire explorers, stations offering fire safety tips and more.

There was also plenty of photo opportunities as both departments brought emergency vehicles, equipment, the Helena police K9 and more as many young children sat in the driver’s seat while having their picture made.

Helena was one of several cities participating nationwide on Aug. 7 as National Night Out is meant to “enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” according to the organization. It also provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

“It’s just a community outreach thing and the community gets to come out and meet us and meet the fire department and see kind of where their tax money goes,” Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar said at the event. “They get to make contact and it’s especially important for these explorers to get out here and interact with the community.”

This was the third year for Helena to have their own National Night Out event.

For more information on National Night Out, visit Natw.org.