National Night Out is making its triumphant return to Columbus after a two-year absence with a massive Aug. 1st block party downtown.
Set to take place from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. this upcoming Tuesday outside the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St., National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event held throughout the United States on the first Tuesday of August. Columbus Police will be joined by numerous partner agencies in the celebration: The Columbus Fire Department, Platte County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus-Platte County Joint Communications Center, Nebraska State Patrol, Columbus Community Hospital, East-Central District Health Department, Centro Hispano, Center for Survivors, Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition and Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition Inc.
“We believe in family-driven, community-based partnerships,” CPD Sgt. Jaymee Levander said. “I do think nationally law enforcement is looked down upon; however, we’re very fortunate in the City of Columbus to have the support of our community. This is just about making sure there’s a good relationship and connection between the community and first responders.”
The COVID pandemic limited what CPD and law enforcement could do in the last couple of summers, which resulted in “Bomb Pop with a Cop.” That effort saw police enjoy sweet treats with area youth. Levander said police enjoyed those experiences; however, they’re fired up to return to a bigger National Night Out format now that social interactions have begun returning to somewhat normal.
This year’s National Night Out won’t disappoint. Law enforcement got the approval to shut down 14th Street between 25th and 26th avenues in downtown Columbus (outside of the Columbus Community Building) to offer a big and fun environment. CPD Chief Charles Sherer will be grilling and officers will be on the scene to show off their cruisers, mingle with the public and play some disc-throwing games with area kids.
Columbus Fire Department will have its mobile splash pad, while Columbus Community Hospital, East-Central District Health Department, nonprofits Centro Hispano and Center for Survivors, Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition and Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition will all be on hand to interact with the public.
“We are looking forward to getting out and about in the community for this great event and look forward to seeing everyone there,” Columbus Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Jones said.
Of course, National Night Out wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of several local sponsors: Hy-Vee, Super Saver, Erica Zywiec – exp Realty and Logan Bronson – RE/MAX Total Realty.
“We’re very fortunate to have a community that comes together every time,” Levander said, noting other Nebraska communities like Norfolk and Kearney will be having their own National Night Out events that day. “We’re looking forward to hanging out with the community. I think it will be a big success.”
Learn more about the Columbus Police Department's recent massive drug bust by reading the story here.
Learn more about CPD and CFD at the Back to School Bash by reading the story here.