TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe Police Department hosted a block party Tuesday to celebrate the 29th annual "National Night Out," which was started to boost community cohesion and strengthen police-community relations.
“The community needs to see that we’re not all about arresting people; we want to help. As kids grow up, we want them to have a positive image of the police,” said Tuckahoe Police Sgt. Abe Bautista, who organized the event.
“We’re in a partnership with the community. We need to break down any barriers that exist.”
The party, held at Depot Square, featured inflatable party games, unique gear and equipment from various local and county agencies, a DJ, kids climbing around on official vehicles, and even a visit from a county police helicopter.
The county bomb squad presented a demonstration with their police dogs and showed how they can utilize a remote-controlled robot for improved safety. The Westchester County Department of Corrections displayed their riot gear, and the Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps. offered walk-throughs of their ambulance.
Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond thanked the police department for putting the event on.
“We’re so lucky to have our current police officers, and some former officers, with us before this large crowd. We couldn’t have put this together without your hard work,” Ecklond told participants. “It shows our police department is accessible, and demonstrates some of the tools we have to keep the community safe.”
One Tuckahoe parent agreed that it’s good for children to get this kind of early introduction to those people who keep the peace in the village.
“It’s good for our kids to get to know who’s out there to help them,” she said. “That’s what they’re here for - to keep us safe.”