The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 31, 2013

Meet the men, women who protect and serve

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The seventh annual National Night Out celebration is almost here, but former attendees may notice it’s a little earlier in the year than past celebrations.

“Last year we competed with Camanche Days unintentionally, so this year we decide to move the date to get more people involved,” Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni board treasurer Connie Brashaw said.

The event will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Riverview Park Bandshell in Clinton.

Although the date has moved, people can be sure to expect the same entertainment they’ve come to know and love from National Night Out, with a few new things added to the lineup.

“Last year we had around 2,000 people,” Brashaw said. “We hope to be bigger this year.”

To increase attendance, the Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni and the Clinton Police Department have added a few new entertainment items for people to enjoy.

Corporate Cowboy, a country-based DJ service from Clinton, is providing musical entertainment to guests and Custom-Pak Inc. donated eight Big Wheels for the celebration’s first Big Wheel Race for kids.

“The Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni and the Clinton Police Department are technically the sponsors, but we couldn’t do this without the support from the community,” Brashaw said.

Clinton Police Capt. James Klaes, who plays the role as liaison between the CPD and the CPAA, agreed with Brashaw and said the strong community outreach is what keeps the event alive.

“Without a doubt, without the community backing us, this would not be near to what it is,” Klaes said.

The CPAA and the CPD have worked together for many years organizing the event, aimed to heighten crime awareness and drug prevention in the community and to send a message to criminals that citizens are taking back their streets.

“The point of this event is to say to thugs and criminals ‘this is our city, these are our streets. We are taking the night back,’” Klaes said.

Another focus of the event is to highlight emergency response teams that are available to the community in the event of a disaster.

Klaes feels it is important for people to get to know their law enforcement officials in the community, to feel safe and secure knowing who they are.

“This is where you can find out that the officers are real people. They have lives and families,” Klaes said. “Come on down and take a look at who is out there serving and protecting you.”