First National Night Out set for Tuesday in Howard City

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 9:01 am on Monday, August 05, 2013

HOWARD CITY — The first local National Night Out will take place Tuesday as part of a countrywide event to recognize and celebrate the relationship between communities and law enforcement officials.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. during Music in the Park at Ensley Park in Howard City.

The Howard City Police Department, Howard City Fire Department, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Montcalm County Neighborhood Watch will be present to offer information about crime prevention, drug awareness and assistance in creating a safer neighborhood.

The Panhandle business community, including Amble, Coral, Howard City, Lakeview, Pierson and Trufant, will provide food and prizes at the event. The Blue Water Ramblers will also perform in concert.

“This event is being held to strengthen communications between public service and the community to create a greater awareness to combat and lower crime,” said Panhandle Chamber of Commerce President Millianne Lewis.

National Night Out was founded in 1984 and currently features about 37 million participants in 15,000 communities, according to Robert Richards, who is helping organize the event. Richards asked the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners to write a letter recognizing the event and commissioners agreed to do so earlier this year.

“We are pleased to say that Howard City has worked with this and we worked with them and they offered us to join with them that night for Music in the Park,” Richards said.

Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt, who is also a county commissioner, said the village of Howard City is paying for the use of Ensley Park and the concert that night.

“We’re certainly supportive of it as a police department,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing.”

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