Annual event fosters ties between police, community

Residents connect with law enforcement at National Night Out

Posted 8/8/17

On a sweltering Tuesday afternoon, Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Phil Domenico swapped out his black police uniform for a green jumpsuit and cowboy hat so he could clean his horse, Scout, without getting dirty.

Later that evening, he and Scout …

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Annual event fosters ties between police, community

Residents connect with law enforcement at National Night Out

Posted

On a sweltering Tuesday afternoon, Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Phil Domenico swapped out his black police uniform for a green jumpsuit and cowboy hat so he could clean his horse, Scout, without getting dirty.

Later that evening, he and Scout would visit neighborhoods across Highlands Ranch for National Night Out, a community-building campaign held every year on the first Tuesday in August to encourage positive police-community partnerships.

"It fosters the relationship between the community and the sheriff's office," said Domenico, standing in the sheriff's substation parking lot next to his sturdy white-and-brown horse. "The horses help with that — the kids love to see them."

Mounted patrol — deputies on horseback who support crowd control, search and rescue missions and public events — were one of many special units that made an appearance at block parties across Highlands Ranch on Aug. 1. Others included a K-9 unit, SWAT team, community safety volunteers and Highlands Ranch Metro District park rangers.

At each street, driveway or cul-de-sac gathering, law enforcement mingled with adults and demonstrated their equipment to wide-eyed kids.

Deputy Lacey Wille playfully handcuffed Scott Shipley, an 8-year-old fascinated by police cars.

“It was fun,” Shipley said, “just for the experience.”

James Kettler, an energetic 10-year-old, jumped at the chance to sit in the rear cabin of a sheriff's office transport vehicle.

“I like seeing all the policemen,” said Kettler, “and learning about everything.”

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