A National Night Out party is planned for Troy on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 5-8 p.m.
National Night Out is an annual – first Tuesday in August – nationwide community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
In the past, Troy hasn’t had much engagement in this event.
Katie McKinney believes that the past lack of engagement could be attributed to a lack of community willingness to build that relationship with the police officers.
“There have been so many problems in the last decade or so with how police officers are viewed in the role they play in our community. Maybe that’s been a little bit of a hindrance but I think the only way we are going to get through that and grow together as a community is if we just start breaking down some barriers,” McKinney said.
This year, McKinney believes that things will be different and that community members are prepared to break those barriers.
McKinney said her optimism is rooted in the success of a recent block party that she and police officers participated in which drew an attendance that far exceeded expectations.
The Troy National Night Out event will not only be a great opportunity to meet local law enforcement but also to just have a good time, as several vendors will be on site.
“We are going to have a snow cone truck there, door prizes donated by AT&T and different insurance agencies around town. We are going to have face painting, a balloon artist, a food truck, karaoke; First Responders are going to be there. We are also going to have some outdoor games and some back to school giveaways,” McKinney said.
The National Night Out party will occur at 108 Palace Way off Highway J in Troy.
“It is important for neighborhoods to see that they can have a positive relationship with law enforcement and that we can coincide as a community together. The police are for us, not against us,” McKinney said.
The event is completely open to the public.
“The vision for this, through Troy Police Department, is we want to see other neighborhoods participate next year and the following year so we can continue to grow together with law enforcement,” McKinney said.
She added, “The kids should see that these people are not people they should be afraid of. You should be able to go to them if you’re having an emergency and feel safe with them.”