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Oak Brook, Hinsdale police team up for National Night Out


Police departments from Oak Brook and Hinsdale joined forces with the Oak Brook Park District for the second consecutive year Tuesday for National Night Out at Central Park West in Oak Brook.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie in an effort to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live, according to the National Association of Town Watch, which introduced National Night Out in 1984.

Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger said the partnership with Hinsdale began in 2017.

“We thought we could have a bigger event by pooling our resources, and having two communities involved” Kruger said. “The whole idea of this for us is to bring the police and community together, to develop closer and stronger relationships, and do it in a fun environment.”

Hinsdale police officer Mike Coughlin agreed.

“This is a great way of bringing people together for a positive experience,” he said.

About 400 people attended this year’s event and were able to see a visit by a helicopter from Superior Ambulance Service and a K9 Unit demonstration along with having the opportunity to touch police and fire vehicles and pose for photos with a cutout of a police officer and police dog.

Those in attendance also had the opportunity to sample burgers prepared by representatives of both police departments and the park district and vote for their favorite in the Burger Cook-Off, presented by Weber Grill restaurant in Lombard.

The winner of the competition was officer Mike McTighe of the Oak Brook Police Department, who created the Champion Burger, using avocado, caramelized onions, American cheese, garlic ranch dressing and candy peppered bacon on the meat.

“I named my burger for Special Olympics, where they all are champions,” McTighe said. “I don’t really cook like this, but they asked if I wanted to take a shot, so I did.”

Susan and Ryan Laurenti of Hinsdale made their first appearance with their children, Patrick, 3, and Shepard, 1.

“We came to support their effort,” Susan Laurenti said. “This is a good place to teach kids what the different departments do, and it helps to build the relationships between the police and people in the community.”

Joseph Molfese of Hinsdale attended the event with his wife, Amy, and three children, Angelina, 13, Sophia, 9, and Mia, 18 months, after learning of it on Facebook.

“It looked like something fun to do with the kids,” Molfese said. “It’s nice because the kids get to meet the people here and find out that the police are very approachable.”

cfieldman@pioneerlocal.com

Twitter @chuckwriting





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