Shianne Jiles, left, and twin sister Shiee, get a hug from McGruff the Crime Dog during the 2012 National Night Out in York City
Shianne Jiles, left, and twin sister Shiee, get a hug from McGruff the Crime Dog during the 2012 National Night Out in York City (YORK DISPATCH FILE PHOTO)

On the heels of their successful first event, Northern York County Regional Police are hoping to draw an even larger crowd to this year's National Night Out.

Department officials anticipated between 200 to 300 people would attend the event last year but were surprised when 1,000 people showed up, said Lt. David Lash.

Now the department is planning for upwards of 1,500 to attend this year's National Night Out Tuesday, Aug. 6, at Union Fire and Hose Co., 30 E. Canal Road, in Dover.

This is the 30th year that National Night Out events will be held across the country. Events officially run from 6 to 9 p.m., and this year's theme is Give Crime and Drugs a Going Away Party.

Activities: Northern York County Regional's event will feature activities such as a bounce house and face painting, an obstacle course by the U.S. armed forces, fire equipment and a race car display, and a dunk tank where a donation will give an attendee a shot at dunking state Rep. Seth Grove and police officers.

For each non-perishable food item donated, an attendee will get three shots at the dunk tank, Lash said. The food will be given to the Dover Area Food Bank.

"It's a good way to give back to the community," he said.

There will also be free food, including hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by Northern York County's finest, as well as pizza, tacos and desserts. There will also be entertainment in the dining hall, and door prizes will be awarded.

The event is open to residents of Dover, Manchester, Paradise Conewago Franklin and Jackson townships, as well as North York and Dover. It is free to attend.

"People can leave their wallets at home," Lash said.

Outreach: National Night Out is a way for law enforcement officials to garner a positive relationship with the people they serve.

For the most part, people only interact with officers during bad situations, like when they are victims of a crime or are being stopped for a traffic offense or are being arrested, Lash said.

The events allow residents to talk with officers and are designed to foster improved police-community relations. "Sometimes we don't get to have positive interactions with people," Lash said. "We just want people to come out and have a good time."

If you go

-Calvary United Methodist Church, 11 N. Richland Ave. in York City, will hold its event from 6 to 8 p.m.

Activities include games for children and adults and food.

- The Carroll Township Police Department will hold its event from 5 to 9 p.m. at Logan Park along Logan Road.

The event, which features a cookout, exhibits by the police and fire departments and prizes, is open to residents to Dillsburg and Carroll and Monaghan townships.

Police will also collect non-perishable food items for New Hope Ministries.

- The Hellam Township Police Department will be hosting its event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hellam Recreational Softball Fields along Lincoln Highway. There will be face painting, food vendors, baked goods, child safety seat inspections and a hot air balloon. Event-goers can meet emergency responders.

- Southern Regional Police will host their event from 6 to 10 p.m. at New Freedom Park. Activities include fire department demonstrations, food, music, emergency equipment displays, and more.

UPDATE 8/6 1:52 p.m.: This event has been canceled due to weather.

- Spring Garden Township will hold its National Night Out event from 6 to 8 p.m. at Elmwood Park in the 1700 block of Third Avenue.

It will feature bounce houses, music and face painting. Township staff and police officers, as well as District Judge Walter Groom, will take a seat in a dunk tank.

Attendees will also be able to meet members of the township public works, recreation and police departments. York Area United Fire & Rescue officials will also be at the event. McGruff the Crime Dog will make an appearance.

UPDATE 8/6 1:28 p.m.: This event has been canceled.

- Spring Grove will play host to the Southwestern Regional Police Department's events from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event, held at Spring Grove Area C&MA Church, 213 N. Main St., will include a bounce house, games for children, entertainment and a free hot dog and a drink each attendee.

Police officers will also provide information on how to connect with police through texts, email and the department's website.

- Springettsbury Township Police are hosting its event at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church. The festivities will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the 2935 Kingston Road church.

There will be free food and drinks, bounce houses for kids and a bicycle raffle.

Child identification kits also will be available, and people can check out a police obstacle course and a fire-safety smoke house, according to police, who said other events are planned as well.

- West York Block Watch will hold its event from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Slagle Park in the 1300 block of West Poplar Street.

It will include food, drinks, snowballs and giveaways. Live entertaintment will be provided by the band Behavioral Nightmare.

Attendees will also have a chance to meet police officers, firefighters and highway department employees. Representatives from the borough's Bark Krew, York County Adult Probation, the York County Sheriff's Department, including a police dog, and local and state representatives, will also attend the event.

- York Area Regional Police will hold their fifth annual event from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dallastown Community Park, near the Dallastown Fire Station at 50 N. School Place. It is free to the public.

There will be numerous activities, including pony rides and face painting, and entertainment throughout the evening.

There will also be a number of scheduled activities.

The schedule is: Officer Phil and Friends at 6, police motorcycle demonstration at 6:15, Magician Levi Sparkx at 6:30, Appalachian Air Canines at 7, Tug-o-War at 7:30 and a firefighters competition at 8 p.m.

The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank's "Bloodmobile" will also be on hand to collect blood donations.

- For the 30th year, York City will participate in National Night Out. Between 25 and 30 events will be held throughout the city between 5:30 and 9 p.m., said Jacqueline Marrero, the city's crime prevention coordina┬┤tor.

Neighborhood associations will host many of the events, she said.

Some events will feature live music, games, food and other activities. City council members, Mayor Kim Bracey and police and fire officials will make appearances at some of the events.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.