Shawano spends another National Night Out

Community turns out to get to know law enforcement and emergency responders
Brixon Wagner tries out some police gear with the help of Officer Brandy Hoffman during the second annual National Night Out held Tuesday at Memorial Park.

Tim Ryan | NEW MediaShawano Police Officer Shane Stange displays some of the gear used by the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Response Team during the National Night Out held Tuesday at Memorial Park.

Tim Ryan | NEW MediaSue Scheinert, neighborhood watch captain for her Franklin Street neighborhood, chats with Shawano police officers Michelle Kamba and Jody Johnson during the second annual National Night Out held Tuesday at Memorial Park. Kamba organized the events this year and last.

Tim Ryan | NEW Media
Tim Ryan

SHAWANO — National Night Out returned to Shawano on Tuesday, as the police department hosted its second annual event at Memorial Park.

National Night Out is a crime and drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, which introduced the program in 1984, when 400 communities in 23 states took part.

It has since grown nationwide, and this was the second time the Shawano Police Department sponsored the event locally.

Officer Michelle Kamba, who organized the event last year, took on those duties again this year.

“I wanted to do something to get to know the community have the community get to know us,” she said. “As law enforcement, EMS, fire department, that they’re not be afraid of us, that they know we’re people, too.”

Kamba began working on the event in January.

“Turnout is great,” she said. “It’s more than we had last year. I’m very pleased to see people coming out and spending time with us.”

Kamba said the hope is that visitors to the event will make some personal connections with law enforcement and other organizations represented.

“I’m hoping the community can build a relationship with somebody here,” she said. “So they have a contact if they need help from somebody or feel more comfortable talking to somebody they know.”

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime awareness and promote drug awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts like Neighborhood Watch, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Along with Shawano police and Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, agencies represented Tuesday included Shawano and Wescott EMS, Shawano Area Fire Department, Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the sheriff’s department’s dive team and Special Response Team members.

There were also K-9 and drone demonstrations, car seat safety checks, and an opportunity to sign up for neighborhood watch, Citizen’s Academy and Rad Kids.

Civic organizations involved included the Safe Haven Domestic Abuse Shelter and Big Brothers Big Sisters and Shawano Pathways.

ThedaStar helicopter also made a landing at the site.

At least a dozen local businesses donated items or services for the event. Konkapot Lodge in Bowler donated a one-night stay that was given away at the raffle drawing.