Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

National Night Out in Niwot


The Boulder County Sheriff’s Department has decided to host this year’s National Night Out starting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 in Niwot.

It’s meant to be a time where the community can connect with law enforcement and first responders outside of the normal setting.

Niwot Business Association President Dick Piland said that it’s also a great opportunity for people to come out and see where their tax dollars are going.

“It allows the sheriff’s department and first responders to show off their equipment that tax dollars paid for and enjoy an evening out,” Piland said. “It’s a national public relations event to better understand what their taxes pay for — and quite frankly to talk with firefighters, officers and paramedics. It kind of breaks down those walls of communication between the public and first responders.”

As the name suggests, the event is held on Aug. 1 nationally. Boulder County has held past events in Lyons and Heatherwood, but this will mark the first time in Niwot.

Along with the sheriff’s department, Mountain View Fire Protection District will have equipment on hand, including antique Engine #10. An ambulance and K9 units will be there, along with SWAT team members, and the county bomb squad has also been invited.

“That’s something most people know nothing about,” Piland said. “They use robotics to check out potential bombs. Normal people have no interface with that. So it will be neat for people to be able to take a look.”

The goal is to build relationships between law enforcement, first responders and the community. When the average citizen interacts with these groups, things typically aren’t going well. This event changes that setting.

“This is especially true with the police department,” Piland said. “That have the unenviable job of enforcing the law. So when you’re stopped by an officer, you’ve probably violated a law. So the event is trying to improve the relationship between police and the public. You’re not having a good day if the fire department comes to your house, but they’re there to help. It’s not the same as when an officer stops you. They’re there to help too, but people don’t always understand that.”

One block of Murray Street between Second and Third avenues in Niwot will be blocked off for the event. Free hamburgers and hot dogs with all of the fixings will be served by Sheriff’s officers.

Entertainment will be provided by the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band. The balloon man will also be there to make art for attendees.

“This is the first year that Niwot has been chosen for this event,” Piland said. “The Niwot Community Association is partnering with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department to help, and we’re happy to do it.

“If we pass the test, the National Night Out could come back here in the future. They of course want to reach out to as many people as possible. They’ve been in Lyons and Heatherwood, but never in Niwot. It’s a learning process for us. We’ll just have to see how it turns out.”


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