LPD to host third annual NNO events

Monday, August 6, 2018

LE MARS — For the third year in a row, the Le Mars Police Department will host a National Night Out party at their station from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7.

“It’s just an opportunity for the community to come to the police department and have a fun time with some free some free food hamburgers and hot dogs and get to know the officers in their community,” said Officer Dan Plueger.

Families, adults and kids of all ages are welcome to the event, which will have an assortment of activities and treats, even opportunities to see the officers’ different equipment.

“We’re going to be serving hamburgers and hot dogs and chips,” Plueger said. “It’s a free meal with ice cream treats at the end. All kids can also register for some prizes and there will be some backpack giveaways with some school supplies in them.”

Two bikes will also be given away, one to a boy and one to a girl, Plueger explained.

“The drawing for the raffle for the canine program, which is been going on for the last few months, will be that night,” he added. “So if you haven’t bought your tickets yet for those prizes, you can do so that night as well.”

National Night Out began as a national community building campaign in 1984 to promote community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie between law enforcement and the communities they serve, a mission still relevant today.

“Events like National Night Out are important because it’s an opportunity for both the police department and the community to build a relationship with each other, to get to know each other more,” Plueger stated. “Most times, when people have interactions with law enforcement, it’s getting pulled over on a traffic stop or some other instance where law enforcement has to get involved. It’s just an opportunity for people and the police department to meet each other on a more friendly basis — to get to know each other better and to have a relationship with everybody in the community.”

The event also gives community members the opportunity to get to know some of the newer LPD officers.

“Over the last few years, we’ve added several new officers to our department, so some of the long-time residents might not know everybody as we’ve had quite a few retirements,” Plueger said. “It’s a way for the community to stop at the police department ask questions of us if they have any concerns about what’s going on in their community. It’s just a great evening of friendship where people can come out, mingle with one another, meet new officers and just have a great time.”

The LPD has always worked hard to remain integrated with the Le Mars community, but when the community block parties of the early 2000’s began to lose popularity, the officers needed a way to maintain their relationship with the people of Le Mars, Plueger stated.

“We used to have a lot more block parties where people would put together nice parties in their neighborhood and officers would come out and talk to the people and hand out some prizes,” he said of his early years with the LPD. “But over the last few years, we’ve noticed a decline in block parties so we’ve decided to hold an annual event at our police department where people can again come down to meet the officers and enjoy some free food and possibly win some prizes.”

Since hosting their first event in 2016, more and more people have come out to meet the officers.

“Over the first two years, we’ve always had an increase of people coming down to the police department for National Night Out,” Plueger explained. “I would expect the same again this year.”

Plueger said his favorite part of the event is getting to meet the different families in the community.

“The children are always full of questions and inquisitive about some of the equipment we have out,” he explained. “It’s always nice to see their faces and expressions when they get to sit in a police car or look at some of the other equipment the police department has. They’re just so enjoyable to watch and see their reactions.”

National Night Out will be from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Le Mars Police Department, 22 Second St. N.E.

“Hope to see everybody there,” Plueger added. “It should be a fun and enjoyable evening for everyone.”

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