FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Military families and authorities came together at Fort Riley Wednesday to take a stand against crime and drug abuse.
The installation hosted its annual National Night Out event at the Forsyth Neighborhood Center, bringing together soldiers, their families and Fort Riley Emergency Services personnel. National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and brings 30,000 communities together across the nation to strengthen police-community partnerships and combat crime.
Fort Riley has sponsored the event for more than 18 years, allowing military families to have some face time with those who work to keep them safe on post.
“It’s our chance as emergency services- police and fire- to give back to our community and thank them for everything they do for us and to help build a stronger partnership, stronger relationship with the people that we serve,” said Sgt. Brian Hornaday with the Fort Riley Police Department. “The community only sees us when we’re in action on duty so this is a good time for us to get out and show the personal side of law enforcement officers- that we are people, that we have families ourselves and that we do care about them and supporting them.”
Hornaday says the Fort Riley police and fire departments are responsible for the safety of 60-70,000 people people living and working on the installation.
“I think it’s certainly important to the community because it demonstrates how close we are. It allows for those who are new to our community a chance to get out and see what the environment is like,” said Colonel Andrew Cole, Fort Riley Garrison Commander. “It gives them a chance to see what those agencies are that are out there that are looking out for our better interests as we talk about having a safe environment, as we talk about having an embracing environment.”
Fort Riley also partnered with Geary County USD 475, the USO and Corvias Military Living to provide soldiers and their families with safety tips and resources.
Activities included several displays, including McGruff, the crime dog and the Child ID System, a computer program that allows parents to have all of their children’s personal information on hand in the event that the child is lost or goes missing. Officers create a profile that includes the child’s picture, name, date of birth, address, school, phone numbers, names of their parents and fingerprints as a quick reference in emergency situations. Parents can also include a DNA sampling from their kids to add to their profiles. The free service is available any time at the Fort Riley Police Department.