Night out for community, police relationships

Your kids can explore police cars, meet police officers and see K-9 officers and learn about the robotics equipment used to check out suspicious packages at two local National Night Out events tonight.

New Whiteland and Franklin police invite parents and their children and all residents to the events, meant to connect police with residents, send an anti-crime message and strengthen community spirit. Police departments across the country are hosting National Night Out events today.

The events kick off at 6 p.m. in East Park in New Whiteland, on Ballpark Drive near the fire station, and at the Franklin Family Aquatic Center, at 396 Branigin Boulevard.

Each community that hosts a National Night Out event plans its own activities, and the focus in Franklin is to improve communication between residents and police, help the community meet the officers and to get back to community policing, Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.

Residents can meet officers and their families, and take pictures with them, building personal connections and getting to know one another, O’Sullivan said.

This is Franklin’s first year to host National Night Out.

“This is a night for America to stand together and promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity,” O’Sullivan wrote in a letter to community partners. “National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement.”

The Franklin event will include displays and information for domestic violence education and prevention and child advocacy. New Whiteland organizers invited area businesses to set up booths.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate our communities, educate our residents on all the great things we have to offer and build relationships,” the Whiteland and New Whiteland police chiefs said to residents and business owners in a letter promoting the event.

If you go

National Night Out

6 to 9 p.m. today

Where: Franklin, at the Franklin Family Aquatics Center, 396 Branigin Boulevard

Which agencies: Franklin Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Activities: hot dog cookout, free swimming, pictures with police officers, police and specialty vehicles on display, horse patrol, motorcycle patrol, robot demonstrations, meet the K-9s, children’s identification kits, try on impairment goggles and more

Where: East Park, New Whiteland

Which agencies: New Whiteland and Whiteland police departments

Activities: meet police officers and firefighters and see their equipment, music, food and business displays

Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2774.