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Sugar House Journal

Night Out in Sugar House brings community, police together in a fun atmosphere

Jul 20, 2018 15h00 ● By Spencer Belnap

A potential future law enforcement officer checks out a motorcycle during a 2017 National Night Out event. (Carl Fauver/City Journals file photo)

By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected]

Communities across the country will be celebrating National Night Out the first Tuesday of August. National Night Out is an annual occurrence now in its 35th year and it’s a campaign that aims to build bridges and partnerships between residents and local law enforcement.

Sugar House will join thousands of other neighborhoods with Night Out In Sugar House at Fairmont Park (1040 E. Sugarmont Dr.) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 7. This free event is the second time the Salt Lake City enclave has participated in Night Out.

“I think it’s great for communities to meet the cops,” Sugar House Community Council Chair Landon Clark said. “Show how great to talk to they can be, and how they are normal people.” A couple hundred or so people came out to the first Night Out in Sugar House.

“Last year was great,” Clark added. “It was the first time a community on the east side of Salt Lake had participated in several years. We added a lot to the event this round, so we hope it brings out even more Sugar House residents.”

Salt Lake City Police Department officers, detectives and representatives will be spread out all over the valley with at least four bigger events planned and a few small block parties as well.

“I usually go to several that night,” Detective Greg Wilking said. “Any chance to talk with your neighbors and interact with them strengthens and enhances a community.” Wilking is also a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for the SLCPD.

“Even if you can’t make it out to one of the bigger ones like Fairmont Park, I encourage people to pull out a grill on their street,” Wilking said. “Get some hot dogs and have a small one with just your street. If you want us to come out, that’s ok, but it’s all about getting to know your neighbors.”

The two hours of Night Out in Sugar House will provide a fun and activity-filled setting for neighbors to interact with their local police officers, as well as fire department. Food will be provided from Burgers Grilled Right, or BGR (1202 E. Wilmington Ave.), to the first 100 people. Live music will be playing from shaded pavilion space, and Beehive Sports will have some giant lawn and communal games to play.

Perhaps one of the most unique offerings of the night will be the ability to fish with some police officers. The pond at Fairmont Park was just recently reopened to the public. It was cleaned and restocked with dozens of trout. A newly refinished boardwalk lines most of it and gives anglers plenty of space to throw down a lawn chair or stand along one of the rails with a fishing pole. Organizers are calling that element of the night “Cops and Bobbers.”

Bicycle Collective (2312 S. West Temple) will be on hand as well. They’ll be involved with a bike giveaway, where participants will be able to win a free used bike. The collective will throw a bike rodeo too. Sprague Library (2131 S. 1100 East) representatives will be there, offering a book giveaway to children and adults. Some live exotic birds will also be on hand for folks to admire up close.

The Community Council anticipates a few dozen police officers, including some of the bike and K9 units to join up at the park. “Mayor Biskupski should make an appearance at this year’s event, and some political candidates that are running for office,” Clark said.