Harford County businesses, police host National Night Out gatherings Tuesday

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Seven Harford County-based police and fire agencies, along with community groups, will be available to meet with the public at the Aberdeen Target store Tuesday evening for National Night Out.

The Havre de Grace Police Department will host its annual National Night Out gathering the same evening.

This year is the 35th annual National Night Out, when local police and other public safety agencies spend an evening with residents of the communities they serve. The campaign was started in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, according to the association’s website.

“I think that every single department that’s going to be here is going to have some very valuable information on things that they do on a daily basis,” Lawrence Fenlock, asset protection team leader for the Aberdeen Target and coordinator of the event, said Friday.

The Aberdeen Police Department, the Aberdeen Fire Department, the Abingdon Fire Company, the Bel Air Police Department, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police have confirmed they will attend, Fenlock said.

The gathering at Target is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The store is at 1025 Middleton Road, and the event will happen in the parking lot, according to Fenlock. The Aberdeen Target staff is working with their colleagues at the Abingdon and Bel Air Targets to coordinate the gathering, which the Aberdeen store is hosting, he said.

The police and fire agencies, along with community groups that will give presentations on gun safety for children and motorcycle safety, will be stationed at tables. Within those tables will be a disc jockey playing music, snow cones, cotton candy and a dunk tank. Food trucks will also be parked nearby, were visitors can purchase meals, Fenlock said.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler is scheduled to visit and speak partway through the evening, according to Fenlock.

Admission to the event is free, along with the entertainment and cotton candy and snow cones. Target employees from all three stores will volunteer their time, Fenlock said.

Target stores in Abingdon and Bel Air have hosted similar National Night Out gatherings in prior years.

“Target likes to be the community meeting place, where everyone can come together and build a relationship with their local law enforcement and fire department,” Fenlock said.

The Havre de Grace Police Department will host its National Night Out gathering, starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday; representatives of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police have been invited, too, according to Havre de Grace Police spokesperson Cpl. Daniel Petz.

The MdTA Police have been at the Havre de Grace Night Out gathering in previous years. The agency patrols the Route 40 Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge between Havre de Grace and Perryville, along with other toll bridges, tunnels and highways across the state. It is also responsible for BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore, according to the MdTA Police website.

Police officials will be at the Somerset Manor community, operated by the Havre de Grace Housing Authority, from 5 to 6 p.m., Petz wrote in an email.

The 60-unit townhouse community is at 101 Stansbury Court, according to the Housing Authority website.

They will then shift to Ontario Street for the annual block party hosted by the Ontario-Otsego Positive Action Committee, starting at 6 p.m., Petz stated. Police typically visit Somerset Manor, then the Ontario Street block party on the north side of the city for Night Out in Havre de Grace.

“National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live,” according to a statement posted on the Havre de Grace Police Department Facebook page.

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