While many towns and their respective police departments held National Night Out events in August, South Elgin and its officers will be holding a Village Day Out from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 in Panton Mill Park.
“This is a new event based on a successful event from our past,” said South Elgin communications specialist, Craig Pierce.
Pierce said the Department used to host a National Night Out block party at Jim Hansen Park, typically the first Tuesday of August when police departments around the country host events the same night.
“There’s an organization, National Town Watch, that owns the National Night Out license. Since South Elgin police could not host an event on that designated night, we can’t use the licensed name for a different date. So we created SEPD’s Village Day Out as a similar event,” Pierce said.
When South Elgin police needed to commit to participating in the National Night Out event, the village had four police officer openings, Pierce said, and it was impossible to know whether the department would have the time and resources to make it happen while short-staffed.
“Still, our police department wanted to host some kind of community event, and this provided an opportunity to hold the event on a weekend afternoon,” Pierce said.
Pierce said the village and its police see the event as an opportunity to bring the community together and engage with the department.
“Often, the only time a person meets an officer is during an emergency, a traffic stop or some other less-than-ideal situation,” Pierce said. “Our officers live in the community, go to our restaurants, attend school plays and coach youth soccer teams. This will be a great opportunity for police and the public to interact in a positive, healthy manner.”
In addition to South Elgin Police, the event will feature other Kane County law enforcement agencies and a display of police vehicles for children and their parents to inspect. Police also are planning a tribute that afternoon to the people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Pierce said the day out also will also have various community organizations present so residents can learn about those groups, the services they offer and potential volunteer opportunities.
Food trucks will be selling a variety of options. There will be family-friendly entertainment, craft projects, temporary tattoos and coloring stations. The gathering will culminate with a performance beginning at 3:30 p.m. by country and rock act Hillbilly Rockstarz.
For more information, call 847-742-5780 or see southelgin.com/villagedayout.
Mike Danahey is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.