SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Springfield Police Department kicked off National Night Out at the Willamalane Park and Recreation District’s children celebration Saturday.
About 3,000 children and their families joined the celebration Saturday to have fun, but also to learn about neighborhood watch, safety and security.
Children had the opportunity to tour a cop car and pick up safety info.
"We encourage people to get out there in their neighborhoods and meet their neighbors and make sure we don’t have criminal activity in the neighborhoods”, said Springfield Police Chief, Richard Lewis. “We need as many people out their eyes and ears to be able to report crimes and once you get to know your neighbors and kind of their habits, if you see suspicious activity, we want people to give us a call so we can come in there and address the situation."
National Night Out gives the community an opportunity to get to know one another, the local police department, and firefighters.
The event will take place in the Meadow Park and Lively Park neighborhoods on Tuesday, August 7th.
The Springfield Children’s Celebration included activities such as pony rides, train rides, and therapy dogs.
This is the third year Wilamalane Park and Recreation District brought the celebration back, drawing about 3,000 people on Saturday.
Program Manager for Special Events and Outdoor Recreation, Kim Lyddane said the kid's reactions make the event worthwhile.
"I think the best comment I’ve heard all day is when I was covering a shift at the end of the and a kid was crying saying ‘I don’t want to go home’ and I was like yes, we've done our job."
Lyddane said the ticket into the event was non-perishable food items which will be donated directly to Food for Lane County.
She said every year, they donate about a pound of food per person.