Safety First: Tuesday evening’s National Night Out promotes public safety

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard and then-Command Sgt. Maj. Rodwell Forbes with their families ride atop a Fort Meade fire truck with McGruff the Crime Dog at last year’s National Night Out event. (File photo by Nate Pesce)

Hundreds of Fort Meade families will gather Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. at McGlachlin Parade Field to meet the men and women of the local police and fire departments who work to keep the community safe.

The 34th Annual National Night Out, sponsored by Corvias and the Directorate of Emergency Services, promotes public awareness of crime and drug prevention and strengthens the bond between police and the community, according to the National Night Out website.

Each year, the National Association of Town Watch sponsors National Night Out nationwide on the first Tuesday of August.

Fort Meade’s award-winning event will begin after Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard, DES Director and Provost Marshal Lt. Col. Jeffrey Knudson, and Corvias Business Manager Scott Kotwas sign the “Community Night Out” proclamation.

“The purpose of the event is to support the military community, enhance the relationship between neighbors and to make our community a better place to live,” said Darla Humbles, resident business manager at Corvias. “This is a family-friendly event.”

Jonathan Beatty, 9, of Potomac Place, looks out from an armored vehicle as 1st Lt. Anthony Hill, of the 200th Military Police Command, sits on top during last year’s National Night Out event. (File photo by Nate Pesce)

A parade of first-responder vehicles will leave Club Meade at 5 p.m. and arrive at the parade field at 5:45 p.m. McGruff the Crime Dog will arrive with the official party.

The three-hour celebration will feature a variety of children’s attractions including a zip line, extreme bungee, rock climbing, bounce houses, inflatables and a hamster ball track as well as a caricature artist and face painting.

Fort Meade’s Mobile Command Truck, known as “The Beast,” will take its place midfield.

A special addition for this year’s event will be a performance by the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps from Massachusetts.

There also will be a chance to win a $100 gift card for players of the APP-Titude Challenge. (See ad on right for details.)

Humbles said organizers are expecting up to 5,000 people.

Agencies slated to participate include: Army Community Service, Child and Youth Services, Fleet and Family Support Center, Army & Air Force Exchange Service, USO, Enlisted Spouses’ Club, Officers’ Spouses’ Club, National Security Agency SWAT Team, Maryland State Police, BWI Airport Fire Department, Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Food vendors include 7-Eleven, Mission BBQ, Fantastic Foods, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Krsipy Kreme. Corvias will cook free hot dogs donated by 7-Eleven.

Don’t forget to play th App-Titude Challenge!

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