National Night Out event in Parsippany aims to build relationships between police, community

Chick-fil-A mascot with Officer Andy Sadowski

PARSIPPANY — As attendees were arriving at the PAL Youth Center and Smith Field, the downpour of rain started and everyone ran for cover. At first people felt the event would be rained out, but after about fifteen minutes the rain stopped and cleared up for the event which had almost 5,000 attendees.

Similar events are held nationwide and are a chance for law enforcement and emergency personnel to build relationships and promote neighborhood camaraderie. It’s the first time the event has been held in Parsippany, previously residents had to attend National Night Out at Mennen Arena.

ShopRite Catering, Anthony Franco’s, Parsippany’s Best Pizza, Kona Ice were on hand cooking and serving hot dogs, pizza, penne pasta and other delicious items.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano said “I am proud to finally have National Night Out occur in our township. Parsippany is the largest township in Morris County, and National Night Out is a celebration for all of our residents and a great celebration for the men and women of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, as well as the staff and volunteers of our PAL. As our first National Night Out, we will continue to make sure it gets even better every year.”

“Hosting our first annual National Night Out here in Parsippany-Troy Hills, was a true partnership between the PAL and the PTHPD. It was a perfect way to bring the community together to support law enforcement, engage our community partners and our first responders. The turn-out, even with the weather, was beyond our expectations and was also a great new beginning for our Parsippany PAL,” said Sam Yodice, Parsippany PAL Executive Director.

The fun included free bean bag toss, raffle wheels, music by a D.J., Italian ice, face painting, carnival games and prizes, inflatable rides and bouncy houses. There was even a dunk tank where kids could dunk one of Parsippany’s finest.

“Parsippany Police proudly held our first National National Night Out; a groundbreaking initiative and tremendous effort by our Community Policing Division Officers and Youth Services Counselor. Seeing so many of our School District students with their Police Trading Cards in hand, parents and residents interacting with PTHPD Officer’s (especially at the dunk-tank) and with our excellent volunteer Emergency Services personnel was incredibly rewarding! Special thanks to all PTHPD Officers who worked extremely hard ensuring everyone’s safe walking and driving to the event, Sam Yodice and Ashley Garofalo at the PAL; and especially to Community Policing Lieutenant Ron Carrozzino, Sgt. Alan Griffin (Grif), Officer Remo D’ Alessandro and Youth Services Section counselor Sunny Fullerton who’s initiative and efforts made this all possible and successfully happen,” Said Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Chief Andrew Miller.

Dozens of vendors were also set up for local groups and businesses, and for sponsors, such as WISE Animal Rescue, Chick-fil-A, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Lakeland Hills YMCA, Orange Theory Fitness,  Parsippany PBA Local 131, Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Department District 2, Parsippany Animal Control, Liquid Church, Par-Troy Emergency Medical Services, Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance, Morris County Sheriff’s Hope One, Parsippany-Troy Hills Elks Lodge #2078, and Girls on the Run.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.