Good, clean fun: Police party with locals on annual Night Out Against Crime

Good, clean fun: Police party with locals on annual Night Out Against Crime
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They had the right to remain cheerful!

Brooklynites mingled with members of New York’s Finest at events across the borough on Tuesday that fostered camaraderie between residents and those men and women who protect and serve them each day.

The fun police at the National Night Out Against Crime bash in Fort Greene enthralled some 4-year-olds from a nearby day-care center so much that the kids didn’t want to leave their custody, according to their chaperone.

“We tried to get them back to the center but they didn’t want to go,” said Carole Mills, who brought tots from Clinton Hill’s Young Minds Day Care Center to the event hosted by 88th Precinct officers in Fort Greene Park. “They were never bored.”

The youngsters spent roughly three hours partaking in such activities as face painting and getting to know their local cops — a highlight of the affair, Mills said.

“They had a fabulous time with face painting, but the best part was meeting the police officers,” she said.

But the festivities weren’t relegated to Fort Greene — kids who came out to the 76th Precinct’s party in Red Hook got to hop in the saddle on some four-legged crime fighters, according to a mom.

“The horses were my daughter’s favorite part of the day,” said Vanessa Espinal, whose 5-year-old Ava Peralta rode a police steed at the event.

Of course, any day of fun wouldn’t be complete without a bouncy castle — a fact not lost on officers from Marine Park’s 63rd Precinct, whose inflatable attraction received rave reviews from parents and kids alike.

“I loved that there was fun for the whole family, and my kids loved the bouncy house,” said Chaya Kleinman, who brought her three children to meet their neighborhood’s Boys in Blue.

And putting a smile on the faces of community members made organizing the days’ events well worth the effort, according to a 63rd Precinct cop who joined the fun.

“It was a really good time, and there were loads of kids and families,” said Officer Melissa Paschal.

Authorities hold the borough-wide bashes in order to remind residents of their presence in the neighborhood, and that help is always only a phone call — or shout — away, according to a community-affairs liaison for the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge.

“They bring the community together, and if anybody has any concerns then they can talk to the officers,” said sergeant-at-arms George Samara. “You get to meet them one on one, so they’re bringing back community policing this way.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.