By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
Amsterdam police are set to host an evening of free activities, entertainment and refreshments for residents as part of an annual nationwide initiative connecting law enforcement to communities.
The Amsterdam Police Department, in conjunction with the Amsterdam Recreation Department, will hold its National Night Out event Tuesday from 4 to 9 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Field. There will be free raffles and giveaways for attendees, along with several family-friendly activities. Vendors will also be at the event, including some selling food. An outdoor movie screen will be set up in the park, too, for a showing of “The Sandlot” around dusk.
Amsterdam Police Sgt. John Thomas said National Night Out seeks to bolster relationships between law enforcement and the community to make neighborhoods safer. Thomas said there are 41 sworn officers in the city department.
“There’s a lot of free things that are there for everybody to enjoy,” Thomas said. “Weather providing, hopefully we’ll have another great day with a good turnout and a lot of happy people.”
Thomas said his favorite aspect of National Night Out is how it helps build positive relationships with children. He said teaching children to reach out to police when they’re in a situation making them feel uncomfortable or scared is important.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to really interact with the children and let them realize that we’re there for them,” Thomas said. “They see that police are their friends. There’s good involvement that we’re starting at an early age with these children.”
Amsterdam Assistant Recreation Director Danielle Whelly said there are more vendors signed up for the event Tuesday compared to prior years. Educational, craft and community organization vendors will join some selling food.
Whelly said a growing trend for city events seems to be more vendors are signing on each year.
“Vendors are having a really great…