Through multiple celebrations, Douglas County residents honored both police and fire officials as part of a national program.
The National Night Out program in meant to improve the relationship between residents and law enforcement. National Night Out was created to provide an opportunity for law enforcement and residents to interact under positive circumstances.
The Highlands Ranch event on Aug. 4 became a community celebration. Residents filled Civic Green Park to hear live music from popular local band Swing Shift and enjoy ice cream donated by Safeway.
The interactive event included hula-hooping contests and games, along with allowing residents to get up close and personal with equipment and vehicles used by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and South Metro Fire District.
Youth and adults got to get inside police cars and fire trucks, and the county's SWAT team was also on hand to show off equipment and vehicles used in high-risk situations.
Besides deputies and other personnel attending the celebration, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock was also in attendance, saying it is important to put a face to local law enforcement.
The Castle Rock National Night Out event was held on Aug. 3 at Philip S. Park. The Castle Rock Police Department created an event aimed at engaging participants.
The department created a trading card program where kids collected cards from all the police officers, including Chief Jack Cauley and the new K-9 officer, Buttercup. A contest was held to see who could collect the most cards leading up to the Aug. 3 event.
Kids were also educated on the steps to secure a crime scene with Detectives Dan DeGennaro and Mike Williams. The detectives worked with kids to find clues and mark areas that would be useful in an investigation. In one scenario, kids had to find clues that led to a suspect without a shoe or shirt.
Drinks and dinner were also served, as members of the Castle Rock Police Department served hamburgers and hot dogs to residents.
Among those attending the event were Kim and Clyde Hagan. The longtime Castle Rock residents said they always take advantage of National Night Out because it gives them an opportunity to get to know the community.
“This really lets us show our support for local police,” Kim said. “The way things are in the country right now it is very important to show them support.”
With a large turnout for an event happening in the rain, Cauley said he was pleased.
“After not being able to celebrate last year, I am excited we had this opportunity to communicate and reconnect with our residents,” he said. “These events allow the community to meet officers one on one to build a relationship and earn trust.”
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