BUCKHANNON – Upshur County’s 2019 National Night Out drew as many as 600 people to the Upshur County Recreation Park pool Tuesday night – even with some brief rain showers.
National Night Out is an annual event meant to bring communities closer with local law enforcement officers and first responders, and Lt. Doug Loudin with the Buckhannon Police Department said Buckhannon has participated in the event for 15 years.
“It’s something we’ve kept doing because of the smiling faces of the kids,” Loudin said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get familiar with people in our community, and for them to get familiar with us.”
“That’s the sole reason, National Night Out was created – to help law enforcement and the citizens in their communities get to know each other because most of the time they only see us in our cruisers, so this is an opportunity for them to see this other side of us,” he added.
The DJ for the event, Brad Lincicome, said he has helped with the National Night Out almost every year since they’ve been held.
“I like the fact that folks can come out here and have a great time,” Lincicome said. “It’s almost like a last blast before school starts up again, and there’s first responders out here and folks can get to know their first responders.”
Loudin said numerous donations helped make this year’s event possible.
“We’ve received an outpouring of donations for us to keep putting this whole thing together,” Loudin said. “Without those donations it would be hard for us to keep doing this.”
He said Rob Zuliani donated Zul’s, Sam’s Pizza provided the pizza, Walmart donated $2,500 and the Buckhannon Rotary Club donated $750 that covered the cost of door prizes and other snacks.
“I love it,” Loudin said. “Myself and the chief (Matt Gregory), we’ve always been community service oriented, so this is an opportunity to get out of the office and to meet people and for them to see us in different light,” Loudin said.