National Night Out brings police, community together in Milford

MILFORD – Live music, free food and a host of police officers and emergency personnel in one park sounds like a good night out to the Milford Police Department.

And that’s exactly what they offered local residents on Tuesday night.

Houston resident Donald Calhoun, 6, pretended he was an officer during Milford's National Night Out. (The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik)

Houston resident Donald Calhoun, 6, pretended he was an officer during Milford’s National Night Out. (The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik)

The police department celebrated its 21st annual National Night Out held at Bicentennial Park while The Funsters put on a show in the gazebo and attendees found free giveaways, emergency vehicles to explore and other activities for all ages.

Officers staffing the social media display found themselves busy throughout the night as a steady stream of people visited for a chance to take home Henk the stuffed police dog or a Milford Police Department tee shirt. The catch? They had to download the MyPD app on their Android or Apple devices.

Detective John Horsman said the app offers direct alerts to the devices and has improved communication with the public. Although the department has only been on social media outlets since July of 2014, Det. Horsman said it is making great strides in connecting with those in the Milford area through Facebook, Twitter, the app and its website.

The Delaware Readiness Team, in partnership with the Delaware Office of Early Learning and the Delaware Early Childhood Center, was also a popular booth for locals. Many children who attended the event were given free bags full of age appropriate activities.

The table was run side by side with employees from the Division of Public Health, who also had free items available for visitors.

“We want to help the community be informed and offer them educational tools and all around support the community,” Tesha Quail said.

Corporal Robert Masten expected a crowd of 600 to 800 throughout the event.

Reilly Wall, 10, practiced CPR while Ed Engdahl from the Sussex County Emergency Medical Services watched during Milford’s National Night Out. (The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik)

Reilly Wall, 10, practiced CPR while Ed Engdahl from the Sussex County Emergency Medical Services watched during Milford’s National Night Out. (The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik)

“We do this to enhance police and community relations,” he said.  “We hope everyone has a good time and gets to meet some of their neighbors and police officers during the event.”

Denel Wall and daughter Reilly did just that.

“We’ve had fun. My mom works at the police department, so we wanted to support her, too,” Ms. Walls said.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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