LONG BRANCH: National Night Out is a special second Tuesday of August each year.
The event focuses on the residents in the city, mostly on the younger, but all residents.
The intention is to promote community-building, a campaign that encourages police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
The program was shepherded by Cpl. Joe Graziano with help from Sgt. Kim Leavy, and "special effects" by PO Omar Akel with his service canine Hades, and Sgt. Robert Shamrock who has demonstrated the benefit of police dogs for many seasons at city events. Animal Control's PO Debra Nagel had "Geese Dog" Tucker on the leash, resting from her goose chasing tasks.
Newly appointed Police Chief Jason Roebucks was "On duty" with them and all were supported by the Dept. of Public Works, the EMTS team, Fire and First Aiders, the Long Branch Free Public Library team also "on duty:
WOTS noted Freeholder Tom Arnone with Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, and retired West Long Branch Chief of Police Larry Mihlon and Monmouth County Sheriff, Shaun Golden.
We met Barnabas Health's Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Alieu Nyassi, whose job is to support diversity for the work forces in the community, engagement with the community members, deal with health disparities and provide right care for their patients.
There were the city trucks, with kids up close and smiling, a spinning wheel with everyone winning, hot dogs and more; the several agencies around town like Monmouth Cares, LB Concordance, MOCEANS for the need of special people, (check out /www.gofundme.com/bleed-green); and Long Branch Community Think Tank. More as well. With games, Karate demos, and other kids and big kids interest items.
Mayor Adam Schneider told WOTS this is "'A great turnout! Look at the community activities, the services chipping in their all. It is a big event, I am very favorably impressed with all the city and its residents have done, volunteers and others. It has been growing. "favorably every year. Council members Joy Bastelli was there as was Kate Billings and John Pallone.
A resident was impressed also, but added she hoped the positive activities would be continued throughout the year. Those identified were: activities for the kids of all age groups; jobs in the growing uptown as development moves ahead; and keeping low income families in plans for opportunity for them to move ahead financially.
So it was a great night - and was a most positive year for Night Out -- again.