Fruitland Police announce postponement of National Night Out

FRUITLAND, Md. – At a time where police departments want to improve their relationship with their community, some departments are being forced to change or even cancel their National Night Out events.

“Not having it does hurt but we’re hopeful we can hang on and still have it in October,” says Fruitland Police Chief Brian Swafford. “We didn’t want to give it up all together yet. A lot of places have already cancelled theirs.”

National Night Out events are hosted by police departments and towns all across the country in either August or October depending on locations. “Over the years, our’s has just continued to grow and a typical national night out for us is anywhere form 500 to 800 people,” says Swafford.

This announcement comes after the main organization made a recommendation to postpone the interactive community event due to the pandemic. “We ultimately have to look at what’s going to be the safest way to pull it off and let people actually have fun and we don’t want to contribute to more people getting sick,” says Swafford.

There are usually games,, giveaways and food at these event. Some departments are still trying to host theirs virtually but others don’t believe that would have as big of an impact. “It’s supposed to be the community coming together and it’s really hard to do that if you’re not together,” says Swafford.

The goal of National Night Out is to promote positive relationships between police and the people they serve, something Fruitland’s Chief agrees is more important now than ever. Swafford says that is a major reason why he says postponing it was a tough decision. “Usually we’re meeting people who are having a very bad day, that’s why they called us. So if we can get to know them on a good day, it makes those bad days a lot easier.”

47 ABC also reached out to Dover, Seaford and Salisbury’s police departments to see if they are making this change as well but many say they are still finalizing a decision.

Categories: Local News, Maryland