Area law enforcement and safety officials are inviting not-for-profit organizations and safety groups to take part in this year’s Monroe County National Night Out scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 6 in Tomah’s Winnebago Park.

Coordinated by the Tomah Memorial Hospital Community Outreach Department, a number of safety-related displays and demonstrations are being planned for the 17th annual event.

“National Night Out allows community members to see our local emergency response teams in action,” said TMH community outreach health educator Whitney Sanjari, CHES.

A number of area EMS organizations and not-for-profit groups have already been invited to participate during the free event. Other organizations interested in taking part should contact Sanjari at 608-374-0211 or or Tomah Police officer Melanie Marshall at 608-374-7414 or by July 26.

Sanjari said each booth display must have an interactive or child-friendly activity. Displays should also relate to safety or health.

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Officials said the local National Night Out will continue the “super hero” theme, which Sanjari said has been a popular feature.

“At this event, children dress up as their favorite super hero, and we’d love for those with displays to dress up as your favorite, too,” Sanjari said.

National Night Out was introduced in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit, crime prevention organization which works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The program was the brainchild of NATW executive director Matt A. Peskin, who felt that a high-profile, high-impact type of crime prevention event was needed nationally.

The event is held across the country and designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and “send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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