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National Night Out connects community with first responders

Officer Chris Mailloux and K-9 Kai do a demonstration. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
August 14, 2019
Members of the community had the opportunity to meet their local first responders and see their tools of the trade while enjoying a night of food and fun.

The Gilford Police and Fire Departments hosted the town's National Night Out event on Tuesday night at the Village Field. Families were invited to see some police and rescue vehicles, meet local first responders, and have a night of meeting neighbors.

National Night Out is a nationwide program encouraging positive interaction between law enforcement and the public. This is the third year Gilford has hosted its own National Night Out event.

First responder vehicles were parked along Village Field for people to get a closer look. Agencies that displayed their vehicles included the Gilford Police and Fire Departments, and Belknap Regional Special Operations. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Air Rescue Team (DHART) helicopter also landed in the field and was open for people to get a better look.

Officer Chris Mailloux and K-9 officer Kai did a demonstration on the police dog's work and training.

Members of the police and fire departments cooked food. There were also games, crafts, and tables set up by a few area organizations.

Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee said this was an opportunity for members of the community to get together, getting families to put down electronic devices get out to meet their neighbors.

It also gives the public an opportunity to meet first responders under positive circumstances.

"I like the fact I got to meet people in the community a may never have met before," Bean Burpee said. "It gives us an opportunity to interact with people."

Deputy Fire Chief Brad Ober also said it was a great night to interact with the community.

"(I like) the way that the community comes out together and interacts with everybody," Ober said.

Ober said it was also a great opportunity for different public safety officials to come together and meet in a relaxed environment. He said police officers and firefighters don't do that a lot.

Varney Smith
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