For over 30 years, the 68th Precinct has hosted its annual National Night Out Against Crime, joining precincts across New York City and, indeed, in all 50 states. Bay Ridge’s event has become a favorite for residents as they partake in the festivities, celebrate a noble cause and support the officers for their hard work.
The year’s event, to be held on Tuesday, August 4, is expected to draw a big crowd. “It’s gotten bigger through the years,” said President of the 68th Precinct Community Council Ilene Sacco. “We changed the format up about 10 years ago. We do concerts, have giveaways and food. Last year, we had over five thousand people in attendance.
“We are very fortunate that this community is very supportive of the precinct and everything we do. It’s a big event,” she went on. “There will be a lot of fun stuff going on with all different levels of fun. We always get a couple of thousand people because this is a very pro-police neighborhood and there’s great partnership.”
The family-friendly activities are also light on the wallet. “It’s free to the public. Everything is free, like rides, entertainment, crime prevention information and food,” Sacco said. “We’ve asked our community groups to take part in it and the ones who do bring different giveaways. We have 30-40 community groups and organizations.”
One of the main attractions of the evening is the live music. “The bands we usually get are very good. It’s a big draw,” Sacco said. This year, Ragdoll, a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute band, will perform.
The precinct community council is a nonprofit and works with all different community groups throughout the year. “It’s a great way for neighbors to meet each other and for everyone to meet the dedicated men and women of the 68th Police Precinct,” Sacco stressed. “This year, we hope to make the festivities even bigger and better.”
The event has a long history. “It was started by the National Association of Town Watch in conjunction with the U.S. Justice Department. Thousands of precincts do it on the first Tuesday in August for communities and police departments to take a stand against crime and drugs,” explained Sacco. “Since September 11, terrorism has become an element too. It’s also a way to show police and community partnership.”
The 68th Precinct’s Night Out festivities will take place in Shore Road Park at 79th Street from 6-9 p.m. For more information on the evening or to become a raffle sponsor, call 718-307-7870 or email email@example.com.