The Marana Police Department made an effort to expand their National Night Out event, and the decision was a success. On Friday, October 6, MPD and their community partners took over a good portion of the parking lot of the Target at Ina and Thornydale to put on the event which allowed the public and law enforcement officers to interact.
At one point during a Police Explorers exhibition it appeared as if there were at least 300 people in attendance and Marana Police Department representatives reported that there were steady crowd throughout the entire event.
“The turnout was great,” said Officer David Danielson of the Marana Police Department’s Community Resource Unit. “We did not know what to expect, but people just kept coming.”
Many of those in attendance were families, and it proved to be a great opportunity to not only meet many of the men and women who serve with the Marana Police Department, but to see many of the vehicles and equipment that they use to keep Marana safe.
On display from the Marana Police Department were several squad cars, the SUV used by K9, and the Crime Scene Unit Van. Pima County SWAT had an armored vehicle open to view, while Northwest Fire had a few vehicles on hand to look at.
The Marana Police Department performed three demonstrations. The department’s motor officers showed off their motorcycle driving skills, while the K9 unit showed off the great training that one of the department’s police dog has undergone, including the apprehension of a well-padded mock suspect. One of the spectators had a service dog, who barked encouragement to his fellow German Shepherd during the demonstration.
The Town of Marana’s Parks and Rec Department and the Animal Services Division were on hand to promote events and hand out goodies to the kids, while community and business partners also had plenty of giveaways for the kids and their parents.
Last year’s event drew about 35 people with less activities, so the Marana Police Department took a creative approach and decided to expand the event in hopes of making it more enticing to the community. The move paid off as a full parking lot and long lines at neighboring restaurants showed just popular the evening was.