70th Precinct residents come together for festive night of unity

August 6, 2015 Faraz T. Toor
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The 70th police precinct held its annual National Night Out festival on Tuesday, August 4 to bring the Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington community and local police officers closer together and show their solidarity against crime.

A few thousand people attended the free festival at Prospect Park’s Parade Ground. The attractions included bouncy houses, rock climbing and free food.

“The kids are having fun,” said Sharmelle Benjamin, a Queens resident in attendance whose sister is a cop at the 70th Precinct. “It’s important for the younger generation to think we can come together without violence.”

Dozens of police officers went to the festival as well, as the 70th Precinct and its community council organized the precinct’s National Night Out, along with communities throughout the country. Night Out festivities, under the auspices of the National Association of Town Watch, have been held for over 30 years.

Originally started to show criminals that the police were on watch, National Night Out has branched out to become a more social event.

“It provides a sort of a lighter atmosphere for our police officers and public to interact,” said Ed Powell, the president of the 70th Precinct Community Council.

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