By Martha Jacob –
“Night Out in the Park” is coming to Ripley, thanks to the efforts of members of the Ripley Police Department.
The event will be held on Friday, Aug. 12 at the Ripley Park, Cherry Street and 3rd Street near the post office. Activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude with a movie beginning at dark.
This first time event was organized by Ripley Police Officer Josh Miller, who is responsible for organizing a similar event for the Village of Aberdeen several years ago.
“In villages and cities all over the country, the recent tragic events of individuals losing their lives and the media’s portrayal of our departments as being the bad guys, has created a wave of distrust for law enforcement,” Officer Miller said. “This perception is not fair to the majority of the dedicated, well-meaning law enforcement officers, but it has drastically changed the connection between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Officer Miller said he feels that this upcoming Night Out in the Park event gives him and his department the opportunity to build relationships and trust with their community through events such as this.
“This event will allow us to interact with our community in a casual environment where we can just be people and have fun,” Miller said. “A lot of times, the only time we get to interact is when we receive a call to respond to their residence or we are in their area on a call. During that time we are trying to take care of the situation at hand versus just being able to relax, talk and be friendly, expecially with the kids.”
Night Out in the Park will include an evening of free games and prizes for the kids as well as free snacks and drinks.
The Ripley Police Department will also be showing a movie in the park. All events are free to everyone.
“The event I organized in Aberdeen proved to be a huge success,” Miller said. “Officers began being on a first-name basis on a lot of residents as well as their children. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about starting this Night Out in the Park in Ripley and I’ve also had a lot of support from Chief Bowman. He’s actually the one that, as soon as I mentioned wanting to try to have the event here in Ripley, told me he would help any way he could. Members of the Aberdeen Police Department have also offered to help.”
The Ripley Police Department would like to invite all residents to attend this event and enjoy the fun. For more information or to make a donation or prizes for game winners, please call (937) 392-4169.