National Night Out’s food, fun and fireworks are a smash hit


RICHMOND, Ind. — The national evening was a success.

With hundreds of residents in attendance less than halfway through the four-hour event, plans were already underway for next year’s edition. Tuesday’s event at Roosevelt Hill in Glen Miller Park was put together in about a month, so with a year to plan, the 2023 celebration promises to be even bigger.

Richmond Police Department Sgt. Zach Taylor, who handled much of the organizing, said he was “super excited” about the attendance. At one point, the crowd was estimated at around 500, with more arriving. People kept coming and going until the closing fireworks.

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Taylor is president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s John W. Hennigar Lodge 63, and he approached Lt. Donnie Benedict of the RPD’s Community Engagement Division to organize a national night. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Attendees ate free hot dogs. The children slid down a giant inflatable slide and played other games. Everyone listened to the Sean Lamb Janet Miller Band and The Funkyard Dogs. And Scarrette Pyrotechnics capped off the evening with a pyrotechnic show.

Various public security agencies participated. A Richmond Fire Department truck and ambulance, a Reid Health ambulance, a SWAT vehicle and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Mobile Command Unit were on display. Major Alan Moore represented the mounted patrol unit and allowed children to pet his horse.

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The Wayne County Emergency Management Agency and Emergency Communications Center, the Department of Natural Resources and the Wayne County Probation Service all manned booths, along with a variety of community organizations. Stickers, coloring books and other items were distributed to participants.

Taylor thanked sponsors 3Rivers Federal Credit Union and Kicks 96 for helping turn his idea into reality.

RPD leader Mike Britt said the event was a resounding success. He was happy that the FOP had initiated the event.

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Tuesday was the 39th year for National Night Out, which is the second Tuesday of every August. More than 16,000 communities across the country have signed up to participate in the annual celebration designed to promote police-community camaraderie and make neighborhoods safer and more caring.

The National Association of Town Watch ( sponsors the National Night Out program nationwide.

RPD participated every year, but usually with block parties in partnership with neighborhood associations. Tuesday was his biggest celebration – at least until next year.

Children stroke Maj. Alan Moore's Mounted Patrol horse Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, during the National Day Celebration.

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