National Night Out: Pennsdale style
The fifth annual National Night Out was held at the Pennsdale Community Fire Hall Tuesday.
The Target store near the Lycoming Mall sponsored the event.
“We had a great turnout at the fire hall,” said Target employee Melisa Flick.”It was much nicer than previous years when we held it at (the store). I think that was because the people … were more focused on shopping and they would do a quick grab and go.”Having it at the fire hall really brought the community together in a more social setting and people really talked and had a fun time together,” she added.
Police Chief Chris McKibben helped to organize the event. “National Night Out originated in the 1980s with the Town Watch Program,” explained McKibben. “The idea was to have to people in the community gather together one night to socialize and increase crime awareness.”
McKibben has been police chief for seven years and with the Pennsdale Police Department for 14 years.
“Although nothing real major happens here, crime has been steady and on the increase with access device fraud, otherwise known as credit card fraud. People are not only stealing and using credit cards, they illegally obtain use of debit cards, gift cards and so on.”
An estimated 1,000 community members came to the event, according to McKibben.
“Nothing real earth- shattering happens around here, just the little things disappearing here and there,” said Greg Gilbert. “We have more car accidents then crime in Pennsdale.”
Gilbert has been a Pennsdale resident since 1971.
“We have been very fortunate when it comes to crime, but you never know what the future may bring,” he said.
“We like the whole village atmosphere and overall it is a nice place to live,” said Amanda Dangle.
Dangle and her husband are volunteers with the Pennsdale Volunteer Fire Co. “The only problem we have as of now is the people that have a really loud car and drive it down Village Road in the early morning hours at a fast rate of speed,” she said.
Community members enjoyed refreshments, face painting, and fire truck rides,.
The police department handed out child identification kits, DNA kits and information on car seat safety and seat belts.