Across the country on Tuesday, police departments are planning festivals and events.

In Hancock County, law enforcement agencies are joining in and planning their own version of National Night Out, a free outreach event between police departments and the community.

The event began in 1984, according to the National Night Out website.

“This has been going on for years. It helps bridge the gap between the community and police,” said Brian White of the Findlay Police Department.

Findlay, McComb, Rawson and Bluffton are all planning events on Tuesday. Arlington’s observance is set for Saturday because of another commitment on Tuesday, said sheriff’s Deputy Beth Baker.

Findlay’s event, at Riverside Park, will feature the second annual mascot games, where local mascots will face off against one another. There will also be free food, a chance to interact with police K9s, equipment demonstrations and a vehicle extraction by the Fire Department, White said.

Other community organizations, such as United Way of Hancock County, Open Arms, Hancock County Crime Stoppers, Hancock Public Health, and Ohio State University Extension are also planning on being at the event.

Baker said the sheriff’s office is planning on being at all county events.

She said the events are a good way for officers to see children and their parents, when officers are not responding to a scary situation.

Last year, White said the Police Department expected 400 people to come to National Night Out in Findlay, but got nearly twice that number.

“There’s lots of community support,” he said.

Where to go:

  • Findlay, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Park near the Kiddie Koral.
  • Rawson, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rawson Village Park.
  • McComb, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the community park off Ohio 186.
  • Arlington, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Arlington Community Park.

The village of Bluffton, which is located in Allen and Hancock counties, is having a National Night Out observance on Tuesday that will include music, food, fire truck rides and fireworks.

The event, to be held at the swimming pool from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., will include a performance by Nashville Crush Trio from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m., and fireworks sponsored by the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce at 9:30 p.m.

Admission to the swimming pool will be free all day.

Bluffton, Beaverdam-Richland Township, and Pandora fire and EMS departments will be participating in the event. Bluffton’s rain date is Wednesday.

McClory: 419-427-8497
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