SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — Good weather, food, drones, dogs and ponies were all there for Spring Lake Heights residents to enjoy at National Night Out on Tuesday at the Joseph E. Robertson Park.
Like countless towns across the country, National Night Out on Aug. 2 is a time for people in a community to gain a new perspective and appreciation for their local law enforcement officers.
“There’s nothing more important than the community we serve. And I believe this night is a perfect example of the relationship between the police of the community and even the EMS and schools that we have,” said Capt. Michael Matunas of the Spring Lake Heights Police Department.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve had a fantastic showing, and people enjoy the food, the rides, the animals, the face painting, and thankfully for this year, the weather is beautiful. It’s a great night for everyone to come out and have a good time.”
Spring Lake Heights has hosted National Night Out at Robertson Park for three years, canceling it in 2020 due to COVID. For Capt. Matunas, the outcry of support from the residents his department serves is a testament to the small yet tightly-connected town of Spring Lake Heights.
“We’re very small in a town. Some of our officers are fortunate to live in Spring Lake Heights, and our kids go to school here. So not only do we interact with them while we’re working, we interact with them while we’re off duty, too. It’s because of our relationships with the kids and the families that this is so successful,” said Capt. Matunas.
The scene was more like a carnival than an event for police, complete with ponies and inflatable rides, which caught the attention of the many younger residents. The convenient location allowed many guests to show up on bicycles. Volunteer crossing guards directed traffic for the many pedestrians walking in and out of the park.
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