Police and Brooklynites come together

Police and Brooklynites come together
Photo by Jason Speakman

Just call them New York’s Funnest.

Brooklynites and the officers charged with protecting them got together all across the borough on Aug. 4 for National Night Out Against Crime, an annual celebration of communities against crime. Families came in droves to nab some nosh, get funky, and turn the tables on the NYPD by giving them the third degree, for a change.

The National Night Out Against Crime concept was devised in 1983, when New York was a very different place. Participants held parades and vigils as a way of raising awareness about crime prevention. Luckily, the city is a safer place these days, so National Night Out Against Crime events resemble block parties, with tons of events aimed at letting neighborhood kids have a good time.

“My kids had a blast,” said Gina Edwards, who brought her two kids, Conor and Emily, to the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge. “They loved all the rides and they got to sit in the cop car and play with the sirens.”

Kids in Marine Park got to enjoy their Night Out on the park’s lawn. The 63rd Precinct treated locals to hot dogs, pizza, drinks, and snow cones. Local dance and music groups performed, while the neighborhood’s youngest denizens were treated to a magic show from the Cyclones’ King Henry.

But while the Night Out has become an event focused on letting kids have fun, local adults still relish the chance to meet, greet, and interact with the officers that patrol their neighborhoods every day. One woman who stopped by Brooklyn Bridge Park to join the 84th Precinct said events like this help remind citizens that police officers are members of their communities, too.

“Sometimes police seem distant to us,” said Frances Collins of Lefferts Gardens. “Something like this gives them the opportunity to have some downtime with people in the community and mingle.”

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–2508 or by e-mail at efayn[email protected]cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.