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National Night Out brings local law enforcement, neighbors together

Town of Hamburg K-9 Endy has a firm hold of Officer Dennis Horrigan while Officer Nick Borowski stands by, during an Officer Protection Demonstration on Aug. 5, as part of National Night Out at Woodlawn Beach.
National Night Out events were on full display in the Southtowns on Aug. 5, with town of Evans and Hamburg police and local fire personnel participating in the festivities.

At the Angola Fire Company, Evans police were on hand to greet locals, while child seat safety checks were conducted with local safety advocate Bob Reed. The safety checks are conducted by Evans police in conjunction with the Angola Fire Department. Reed was instrumental in the program’s initiation to North Evans about 15 years ago, then in Angola, with the latter municipality receiving a grant from the New York State Traffic & Safety Committee. In the past year, Reed said, at least 60 car seats locally have been checked, with police examining an additional number of seats.

“It’s a beneficial program, worth it, if it helps save the life of even one child,” said Reed, who noted that 85-90 percent of car seats currently existing are installed improperly or not safety certified. “It’s a telling sign when you hear about auto accidents in which there’s a rollover, and a child is alive from being properly secured in the seat. It’s good to see that parents are taking their time to adhere to proper seat installation and child security in the seats. National standards have to be met,” he added. “I don’t want to see a child get hurt.”

Local safety advocate Bob Reed, left, reviews the safety guidelines of a local resident’s child car seat during the Aug. 5 National Night Out event at the village of Angola Fire Company.
Car seat safety inspections are held at the Angola Fire Company on a monthly basis, typically the second-to-last Sunday of each month. Those interested in having car seats checked or replaced can call 549-3022. Reed stated that any car seat over six years old is not safety compliant and should be replaced. Related safety information can be found at the websites www.safeny.ny.gov/ and www.safekids.org/. In addition to the Angola Fire Company safety checks, National Seat Check Day will take place in September. There is no charge for replacement seats.

“The most important thing is to lessen the chance of injury and secure kids safely,” said Reed.

In addition to car seat checks, the local Community Action Organization was on hand to present musical talents of the developmentally disabled, drawing loud, appreciative applause from those in attendance.

Meanwhile, at Woodlawn Beach, there was no shortage of activities. The evening was started with a MercyFlight landing and performing arts presentations, as well as a demonstration from Master Chong’s Tae Kwon Do. Later, an Air One Helicopter demonstration took place, as well as a K-9 demonstration from the town of Hamburg Police Department with canine Endy locating specifically placed narcotics under a cone. Endy and Hamburg Police Officers Nick Borowski and Dennis Horrigan participated in an Officer Protection Drill. Endy’s regular police roles include finding drugs and patrol work.

Pete Dennis of the Hamburg Police also presented to the crowd of gatherers.

“It’s a nice event for the community,” Dennis said, of National Night Out. “And it’s a good venue for those from the community to enjoy.”

This was the 31st annual National Night Out event in Hamburg. It was previously held in Firemen’s Park in Blasdell, as well as at Hamburg Town Hall, before being moved to Woodlawn Beach, a larger venue.

National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” began in the early 1980s in an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
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