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updated: 8/5/2014 9:38 PM

South Elgin celebrates National Night Out

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  • Sydney Sawyer, 4, of South Elgin makes a 911 call to the police while acting the part of a construction worker in the Tammy Town interactive game for kids at South Elgin's National Night Out Against Crime event Tuesday at Jim Hansen Park. The program was created by Bartlett police Officer Tammy Schulz.

       Sydney Sawyer, 4, of South Elgin makes a 911 call to the police while acting the part of a construction worker in the Tammy Town interactive game for kids at South Elgin's National Night Out Against Crime event Tuesday at Jim Hansen Park. The program was created by Bartlett police Officer Tammy Schulz.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Juan Jasso, 3, and his mother, Jesusita Enriquez, meet Kane County Mounted Ranger Cuper Quintana of Aurora and his horse, Summer, at South Elgin's National Night Out event at Jim Hansen Park on Tuesday night. The mother and son have been coming to the event for three years, and she says seeing the horses is always Juan's first stop at the event. Quintana has been a ranger for eight years.

       Juan Jasso, 3, and his mother, Jesusita Enriquez, meet Kane County Mounted Ranger Cuper Quintana of Aurora and his horse, Summer, at South Elgin's National Night Out event at Jim Hansen Park on Tuesday night. The mother and son have been coming to the event for three years, and she says seeing the horses is always Juan's first stop at the event. Quintana has been a ranger for eight years.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

South Elgin was among several Fox Valley communities participating in the 31st annual National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday with block parties, games and other activities.

National Night out, which is celebrated annually on the first Tuesday in August, aims to promote crime prevention and safety programs, strengthen police-community partnerships and encourage neighborhood camaraderie.

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South Elgin's event included the return of Tammy Town, a traveling activity to promote child safety. A safety town is set up and kids are able to drive a Power Wheels police Dodge Charger after being given a scenario. The scenarios are stranger danger and child safety.

South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District also had their Emergency Smoke House for kids to experience. The police department's new K-9 officer, Rio, also made an appearance giving a demonstration with his partner, Officer Bryan Kmieciak, as well as with Officer Joe Mihalec.

Longtime South Elgin resident Jo Rasmussen has been attending the event for many years, originally while volunteering with the Lions Club. Now she brings her great-grandchildren, including Cici Ocampo, 3, of Carpentersville, who got to play a police officer -- and drive the car -- in Tammy Town.

"I think it's fabulous," Rasmussen said of the event. "They get to know that the policemen and firemen are real people, and it's just a great experience for them."

Rich Sawyer has been bringing his son and daughter, Skylar, 8, and Sydney, 4, to the event for the past four years.

"It's just a great family event. You get to connect with the community," he said, adding that his kids really enjoy it. "It's something special to them."

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