Residents, police officers, firefighters and state wildlife officers come together for 15th annual event.
Ormond Beach Police Officer Jay Brennan counted 400 people at National Night Out within 40 minutes of the scheduled starting time of 5 p.m. By the evening’s end he said he expected there would be at least 1,250. He might have underestimated the number.
This year, the 15th National Night Out in Ormond Beach, was a Hawaiian theme with entertainers from the Hawaiian Inn, leis for guests, and lots of activities.
Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey said the event allows the police to interact with the community on a more casual basis.
“Just look around,” Godfrey said. “All of these families and our officers.”
Dressed in peach-colored baggie flowered shorts as he helped to man the grill, the police chief was having as much, if not more, fun than the children.
A tough task considering the children had a fire engine, inflatables, bike rodeo with free helmets provided by the state, and a live alligator to occupy them.
Anika Rutherford used the event to face some personal fears – alligators.
“I am terrified of them, but I wanted to overcome it,” Rutherford said after handing the small alligator back to state wildlife officer Megan Malcom.