O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon PD again set to host Night to Unite! event

Neighbors joining together has always been the focus of Night to Unite! sponsored by the O’Fallon Police Department.

Mingling and giveaways are planned for this year’s event scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the O’Fallon Community Park, 401 E. Fifth St. Free food, goodie bags for kids, raffles for bicycles and pizza, games and displays/demonstrations from police, fire and EMS are planned.

“The event is 100 percent free and open to the entire community,” said event coordinator Nicholas Schmidt, a detective with the O’Fallon Police Department.

This night of food and fun is part of the police department’s educational mission. Building relationships is a continuous goal for the department, Eric Van Hook, the director of public safety, has always stressed.

“Night to Unite! isn’t just a name. This is an opportunity for residents and police to come together in a fun, laid back environment. A strong relationship between community members and police helps prevent crime and promotes mutual understanding and respect,” Schmidt said.

O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach is in favor of ways to foster community between the city’s police, fire and EMS personnel and residents.

“Night to Unite! is an exciting free annual event celebrating community and public safety through demonstrations, information booths, games, delicious food, and lots of fun. This fun-packed event is made possible with gracious support of community sponsors,” Roach said.

While the police host the event, local businesses make contributions and the O’Fallon Fire Department and EMS join the police in participating.

Depending on the availability of personnel, more than a dozen police officers will be there, along with one fire engine and crew, and one ambulance with crew. Various public safety civilian personnel will be present, too.

Similar events have been held under a different name since 2007, but it has not been an annual outing.

Schmidt encouraged people to get there early for the giveaways.

Sponsors include Re/Max Preferred, Bank of O’Fallon, Olson Orthodontics, Absopure, Wolfersberger Funeral Home, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Subway, Dairy Queen, Keim Family Chiropractic, Scott Credit Union, and Central Bank of St. Louis.

In addition, bounce houses will be set up, and a K-9 demonstration is also planned.