National Night Out Promoted Police-Community Partnership
By NICOLE FAY BARR
Correspondent
MEETING POLICE OFFICERS-Madeline and Madison Cappillo pose with Sergeant Harry Ehret and Officer Andy Hashagen, of Rice Township, and Officer Kevin Stahley, of Fairview. The police, along with firemen and emergency-service workers, held the National Night Out event as a way to connect with the community. See related story and photos on page 5.

It was an awe-inspiring night for children as they got to meet Mountaintop law-enforcement officers and rescue workers. Little boys, with wide eyes, climbed onto firetrucks, little girls, with admiration, met female police officers, and kids of all ages, with mouths agape, witnessed the landing of a rescue helicopter.

The Aug. 2 event, National Night Out, was the second to be held in Mountaintop, billed as a way to “promote police-community partnerships, crime, drug, and violence prevention, safety, and neighborhood unity.”

“It’s public relations between the police department and the people of Mountaintop,” stated Sergeant Harry Ehret, of the Rice Township Police. Along with Officer Andy Hashagen, also from Rice, and Officer Kevin Stahley, from Fairview, Ehret greeted children and adults.

While some kids were hesitant to shake hands or even go near the officers, who were in full uniform and gear, the friendly faces and approachable mannerisms of the cops quickly set the children at ease. “It’s great seeing the kids come out and have a good time,” Ehret added. “This year is bigger than the last. We hope every year to come it gets a little bit bigger.”

The Truschel family attended the National Night Out with their three children, Julie, Liam, and Jack IV. Julie was especially enthralled with Fairview Officer Rachel DeLuca, who pinned a Fairview Police badge on the little girl and showed her some of the equipment in her utility belt.

“We like to support local community and let our kids know that these people are here to protect them,” related the kids’ mother, Virginia Truschel. “We’re here to support the good guys.”

A steady stream of attendees had the same idea, packing the large field behind the Wright Township municipal building, visiting food vendors, booths set up by community organizations, and, of course, the