National Night Out — an annual event that aims to build communities and foster relationships between residents and police — will take place Tuesday evening at sites across Long Island, with food, entertainment, prizes, giveaways and access to child safety kits.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to come out and have a good time with law enforcement,” Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said at a news conference Monday at Manor Field Park in Huntington Station, one of the event locations. “It’s about unity. It’s about coming together and making a positive difference in our community.”
Sini was joined Monday by Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer, and members of the Suffolk police department involved in organizing this year’s events.
“It really is important to work together with the community, and bring them into the process,” Petrone said. “Better community policing efforts are those that bring the community members right in, working with police officers.”
Spencer said that National Night Out will help reinforce with young people the importance of trusting law enforcement officials, especially in light of recent comments “that could potentially erode that trust.”
Last week, President Donald Trump visited Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, where he made remarks before a law enforcement audience in which he suggested that officers be rough with suspects they detained. Suffolk police had issued a statement in response, saying the department does not tolerate “roughing up” prisoners, and Sini on Monday said he stood by that statement.
“I would like to reaffirm the honorable code of conduct held by the SCPD,” Spencer (D-Centerport) said. “Any suggestion of any behavior short of these standards is unacceptable, and puts everyone at risk.”
The Suffolk department’s Community Relations Bureau will focus on tackling the opioid epidemic and the overall relationship between the police and the communities they serve during Tuesday’s event, Sini said. William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, is scheduled to attend the event in Manor Field Park, Suffolk police said.
Nassau County also will host several events for National Night Out, including a car show at the Second Precinct in Oyster Bay.
“We should always support and strengthen neighborhood spirit and build police-community partnerships,” Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in a statement Monday. “As such, I am delighted that the Nassau County Police Department is a part of this very worthy program.”
According to the National Night Out website, the event is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”
Millions take part in events nationwide, in communities in all 50 states as well as U.S. territories, military bases worldwide and even in Canadian cities, according to the site.
National Night Out events
In Nassau County
- Veterans Memorial Park in East Meadow, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Uniondale Fire House, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Kelleher Field in Williston Park, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Martin “Bunky” Reid Park in Westbury, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Jonathan L. Ielpi Firefighters Park in Great Neck Plaza, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Cedarhurst Park, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Fifth Precinct parking lot in Elmont, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- John Burns Park in Massapequa, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Car show at the Second Precinct in Oyster Bay, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
In Suffolk County
- Wyandanch Park in Wyandanch, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Manor Field Park in Huntington Station, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Gil Hodges Park in Brentwood, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Target store in Commack, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Martha Avenue Park in Bellport, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
- Sky Zone in Mount Sinai, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.