WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Law enforcement agencies across the country took part in “National Night Out”.
Including first responders in the Stateline.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office hosted their festivities at the Machesney Park Strong House on Marie Avenue, and in the Harlem Middle School parking lot.
Officers tell Eyewitness News it helps the community feel like our first responders are more approachable.
“This is the best part of our job, interacting with kids in the community,” Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief, Tammie Stanley said.
She had one place in mind she wanted to spend her time.
“I’m going to go with the bouncy house with the kids, that’s the most fun I’m going to have tonight.”
Village President, Steve Johnson, said Tuesday’s get together shows how the Strong House can be used as a tool.
“This is exactly what this house is supposed to be for, it’s supposed to get the community together, get the neighborhood together,” he said.
Fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles lined Harlem Middle School’s parking lot. Kids could test out turning emergency lights on. That’s where I found 3-year-old Olivia.
“I went and got this pink hat and I drive the police officers car,” Olivia said.
I asked her what her favorite part was, she responded, “everything.”
“It gives you a real insight into law enforcement, so that way you get to see everything and if you’re younger and it’s something you want to pursue there’s always things you can learn from it,” Brandon Reese said.
That’s exactly what Deputy Chief Stanley said she hopes residents would get out of the “National Night Out” event.
“A lot of the kids see us on TV arresting people, so…most of our duties is service, so it’s just a great way for the kids and their parents to see us in a different light,” Stanley shared.