Riley County Police Department hosts annual night out

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:08 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - The fourth annual Riley County night out for the community was held Tuesday in Manhattan’s city park.

It was originally scheduled for August, but Riley County police chose an October date due to better weather conditions. RCPD said it gives the community an opportunity to interact with law enforcement while enjoying some good food. Besides the hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips RCPD offered the tactical team, drone team, and the different fire and emergency departments.

Captain of the RCPD, Josh Kyle, said this gives them an opportunity to be around the community while having some food. “Well sometimes people are a little bit afraid to contact the police, maybe they had bad experiences in the past or they come from an area where they just hear about bad things about police. This gives us an opportunity to really break down some of those walls when your serving people food; there’s something very famile about that and it’s kind of hard to say no to a hot dog or hamburger even if its served by a police officer,” said Kyle.

Riley Country’s night out also allows each department to show off what they offer and give the community a behind the scenes look at their work. Courtney Bekemeyer, EMT Riley County, said it feels good to show them things when its not only for an emergency. “It’s really nice to come out and interact with the community when its not an emergency and show everybody the tools we have and the different departments, and we usually see people in a bad situation so its nice that it can be a relax environment and just community support is always a fun thing to interact with and have,” said Bekemeyer.

RCPD said it shows they are everyday people, just like anyone else. Deputy chief RCFD, John Martens, said its great to show that they are more than just firefighters. “National night out is a great opportunity to bring the community to see who we are and what we are and in our agency specifically we are everyday people. Most of our firefighters all have other jobs and other commitments and do other things other than just firefighting so its a great opportunity for us to explain that,” said Martens.

A lot of these departments are volunteers so it gave them an opportunity to show people that they can do other things while helping people. This was the first time Fort Riley and the car collection made an appearance at night out as the RCPD said this was there best turnout so far.