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National Night Out brings police, community together

Christopher Dornblaser
505-5436/@YDDornblaser

A Dallastown park got a bit of a face-lift Tuesday evening.

York Area Regional Police turned Dallastown Community Park into a fun-filled festival for their National Night Out celebration.

Parker Kern of York Township has his face painted Tuesday during National Night Out at Dallastown Community Park. Bil Bowden photo

National Night Out is part of a a country-wide effort to strengthen relations between local police departments and the neighbors they protect.

York Area Regional serves people in York Township, Windsor Township, Dallastown, Felton, Jacobus, Windsor and Yoe. Residents of those municipalities were invited to join the department for the celebration.

Terry Myers of York Area Regional Police Department, demonstrates his motorcycle handling skills during a National Night Out event at Dallastown Community Park Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. Bil Bowden photo

The activities available to attendees included dunk tanks, a "drunk" simulator and even water slides.

Night Out: Sgt. Peter Montgomery, who helped organize the event, said he was happy seeing community members come out and interact with the department on their own terms. He said they typically see about 500 people in attendance.

"I think everybody's having a good time," he said.

At the entrance stood Kristie Meyers, of York Township, the wife of Officer Terry Myers, who was showing kids his police motorcycle. Meyers held pictures some of the kids had drawn to give to her husband, which she said had not happened before.

She said with recent events happening with police around the country, this year's attendance was a bit different.

"This year is probably the most heartfelt," she said.

She said her husband, along with many officers in the department, including retired officers, love coming to the event.

"I'm just glad that we're able to shine a positive light on the police force," she said.

Activities: Face-painting, inflatable water slides, a mini-petting zoo, tug-of-war and a live mixed martial arts demo were just some of the things people could see at the park. Police showed off the inside of one of their cruisers.

One activity near the entrance was the "drunk" simulator, in which people were given a chance to try on three goggles that simulated different blood-alcohol contents.

Katrina Patton, of York Township, tried the goggles with her two children and their friend. She struggled to maintain her balance in a straight line while wearing the goggles.

"I don't know what it's like to be drunk," she said, adding that she never drinks. After trying the goggles, she said she didn't think she would drive with anyone who had finished even one beer.

Another popular activity was the dunk tank, where people threw a ball at a target in an attempt to dunk one of the police officers in the tank. Larry Cone, of Dallastown, was there with his fiancee and her two daughters, trying to dunk an officer. He said his ball hit the target, but the officer remained dry.

"I got robbed," he joked.

Cone said he was enjoying the event and was hoping to meet some people in the community. He recently moved from Dover Township, he said, so it was his first year experiencing a National Night Out in Dallastown.

"It's nice to get out and meet people," he said.

More information on National Night Out may be found here.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.