Hundreds gather in Liberty park for National Night Out

Liberty Police Officer Joel Davila was dunked dozens of times during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug, 6, but he kept smiling and encouraging kids to throw baseballs at the lever that dropped him in the tank.

By Vanesa Brashier,

An estimated crowd of 400 people braved the heat Tuesday night for National Night Out in Liberty. Held at the Liberty Municipal Park pavilion and organized by Liberty Police Department, the event is an opportunity for community residents to interact with law enforcement officers in an informal, friendly setting.

This year’s event marked the first time in a few years that Liberty Police Department observed National Night Out.

“I am very pleased. I am impressed by the turnout. I knew we would have some people turn out, but we haven’t done this in about 3-4 years,” said Liberty Police Chief Gary Martin, who was promoted as chief earlier this year. Martin credits Officer Chris Watson for working with local businesses to sponsor NNO.

“He did an outstanding job organizing this, along with some others,” Martin said. “I couldn’t be prouder. There is no agenda. It’s just about enjoying each other’s company and getting acquainted.”

Scattered around the pavilion, in addition to bounce houses, a dunking booth and games, were booths set up by the Boy Scouts, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Meals on Wheels and Covenant With Christ Food Bank of Cleveland. First Liberty National Bank donated the use of a snow cone booth while Whataburger handed out prizes. Liberty firefighters provided free hot dogs.

“Everyone is having a good time. The kids seem to be having the most fun. They won’t let me on the bouncy houses though,” said Martin jokingly, adding that a couple of people, however, had recommended him for the dunking booth.

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