Madison's National Night Out scheduled on August 7

by Chuck Clement, Staff Reporter, courtesy of Madison Daily Leader

The Madison Police Department and other first-responder agencies in Lake County are planning to host the 2018 National Night Out event in Madison's Westside Park on Aug. 7.

Police Chief Justin Meyer said his department has invited fire departments from across the county, the state Highway Patrol, and personnel with other agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and S.D. Game Fish & Parks to participate in the community gathering.

National Night Out events are held as annual community-building gatherings that promote police-community partnerships and encourage neighborhood connections to make communities safer.

Meyer said first-responders are hosting Madison's National Night Out to provide a positive setting for relationships among law-enforcement officers, emergency personnel and neighbors.

According to Meyer, all area residents are invited to the gathering.

"We're hoping that this event will bolster relationships among law enforcement and our residents and relationships among people in our neighborhoods," Meyer said. "If you know your neighbors, then you have a base from where you can watch out for their safety and help out if you see problems."

National Night Out gatherings are held in thousands of communities located within all of the states, U.S. territories and military bases around the world, typically scheduled on the first Tuesday in August. (Events in Texas are scheduled during the first Tuesday in October.)

Madison's National Night Out will start at 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 with city police officers and city commissioners serving a meal of hot dogs, chips, beans and drinks in the park. First-responder agencies will display their vehicles and equipment at the park and set up booths for distributing information and handouts.

For entertainment, Meyer said the organizers will arrange for the installation of inflatable play areas and provide cotton candy for the children. At 5:30 p.m., Cody Hellinger, a Fort Pierre musician, will start performing country and soft rock music. The entertainment is scheduled to last until 7:30 p.m.

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