Published July 31 2012
Night to Unite events scheduledMOORHEAD – When it comes to Night to Unite, residents in the Fargo-Moorhead area know how to throw a party.
“We’ve been very successful in the past. It’s a good time. It’s a great opportunity for people to get to know each other and know their community,” Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said.
Law enforcement leaders in Cass and Clay counties announced plans Tuesday for next week’s Night to Unite, now in its fourth year and formerly known as National Night Out.
Next Tuesday’s events aim to strengthen ties between neighbors and police, and bring awareness to crime prevention and law enforcement efforts.
Officials said police also get to mix with residents they don’t encounter in their crime-fighting duties.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get calls when everything is going right,” West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen said.
Here’s a look at what the communities have planned:
Taking a cue from West Fargo, the Dilworth Police Department will sponsor a community picnic with free food from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Community Center.
The event will include a bicycle rodeo sponsored by Scheels, which will offer inspections and safety tips.
Residents also will have the chance to meet new police Chief Josh Ebert.
Eighteen street closure permits have been granted for block parties on Tuesday, Deputy Police Chief Pat Claus said. In addition, some residents will host their own yard parties, and Claus encouraged them to contact police so an officer can drop by the party.
Claus said the event is merely an extension of the cooperation police see year-round from local residents.
Fifty-one neighborhood groups have applied to host Night to Unite events, Ebinger said. Applications are still being accepted at www.moorheadpolice.com or by calling (218) 299-5143.
Police, firefighters and elected officials will make the rounds to the events, Ebinger said.
Rasmussen said 2,500 to 3,000 people typically attend Night to Unite in West Fargo, making it the city’s second-largest community gathering after West Fest.
The family-friendly event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. in Elmwood Park. A new attraction this year is the fire department’s 95-foot ladder truck. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation also will bring its mobile crime lab, he said.
Cass and Clay counties
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office will have its search and rescue equipment at the West Fargo event and also will have a presence at Casselton’s event, Sheriff Paul Laney said.
Clay County officials will attend picnics in Oakport Township and east of Kragnes, as well as events in Dilworth and Hawley, Lt. Steve Todd said.
Before the night’s events, the sheriffs and police chiefs will square off in a burger cook-off judged by local media.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528
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