Skate bash will help Bartlett police connect with youths
Bartlett's annual Twilight Skate Park Bash will be back Friday evening.
The event is the one night a year the police bring in lights so skaters can shred the ramps even after sunset.
The skate park usually closes as dusk.
The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19 but has been long-standing tradition in town, occurring since the skate park opened over 10 years ago, organizers said.
The skate bash is organized by the Bartlett Police Department, along with the fire protection district, the park district and the village as part of the annual National Night Out celebration, a campaign promoting police and community partnerships.
"It's a fun event where the kids can interact with the officers and have a good time," said Kim Dasbach, superintendent of recreation at the Bartlett Park District.
National Night Out is meant to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and provide a way get to know each other better, Deputy Chief Geoffrey Pretkelis said.
"We are very excited ... to continue to build on our positive relationships with the residents, businesses and civic groups in our community," Pretkelis said.
The skate bash is a particularly good way to connect with teens in the community, Dasbach said.
"It's a difficult age group to reach out to," she said.
Pretkelis said the visibility of Bartlett police officers -- in schools, as part of teaching programs and at community events like the Twilight Skate Park Bash -- helps cultivate relationships with younger residents in town.
"People get to know the police officers and are able to be more comfortable with having a police officer around," Pretkelis said.
Free food and drinks are provided by the Jim Jensen Pavilion. The skate bash is open to all ages, and attendees do not need to register.
Other National Night Out events will happen simultaneously in Bartlett, including a family fun night and a pool party from 6 to 9:15 p.m.