By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
During a special city commission meeting Tuesday evening, Mayor Tim Long proclaimed Aug. 3 National Night Out. The evening will focus on crime, drug and violence prevention by bringing the community together with local first responders.
“The Liberal Police Department is proud to be hosting the first ever National Night Out with the help of all of our city’s emergency services,” Sergeant Jared Ratzlaff said. “This event is going to be a great night for the family to come and enjoy free food, games and other entertainment, including a basketball tournament, car show, batting cages, miniature golf and much more.
“This night is designed to encourage people to get to know the fellow citizens of their neighborhood and the City of Liberal,” he continued. “It is also designed to get to know all of our emergency services including police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. The night will include information on crime prevention groups such as Neighborhood Watch, Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Center, Seward County Explorer Program, Seward County Community College Area Vocational School Criminal Justice program and much more.
Ratzlaff expressed gratitude to local businesses for their involvement in the program.
“We have also had great support from area businesses donating different items for prize giveaways and also for the food that will be prepared and served by the local emergency services all free to the public,” he said. “So a special thanks to everyone that has donated to this event. Also thank you to the men and women that have taken time from their day to help me in preparing this event.”
Bringing crime, drug and violence prevention awareness programs to Liberal have become an important part of Ratzlaff’s position with the LPD. He thanked the commission for its recognition of the event.
“Thank you very much for accepting the National Night Out,” he said. “National Night out is a crime prevention, drug prevention and violence awareness program started by the National Association of Town Watch. This program has over 36 million people and over 15,000 different communities and this is the first time Liberal will be part of this event. With that, Liberal is also one of three towns in the Southwest Kansas area participating, the other two are Garden City and Hugoton. I think this is a very big opportunity for us, I really do appreciate you accepting this and hope it will be a wonderful event for the town.”
National Night Out will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., Aug. 3 at Blue Bonnet Park. For further information regarding the program, contact the Liberal Police Department at 626-0141.