Rain disrupts National Night Out at Juniper Park
by Benjamin Fang
Aug 14, 2018 | 3889 views | 0 0 comments | 217 217 recommendations | email to a friend | print
104th Precinct National Night Out 2018
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Torrential rain disrupted what was otherwise a successful event marking National Night Out Against Crime last Tuesday night at Juniper Valley Park.

Thousands attended the annual get-together, which seeks to connect local police departments with the communities they serve across the country.

Attendees enjoyed free food, resources and activities, including a bouncy house and dance performances.

Len Santoro, president of the 104th Precinct Community Council, said National Night Out gives residents a chance to talk to officers about the issues they face in a fun setting.

“The kids can actually meet the cops and realize they’re not folks to be afraid of,” he said. “Unless you’re a criminal, then you should be very afraid.”

Santoro noted that the precinct’s bond with the four neighborhoods it serves –– Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood –– is strong because of the excellent community affairs officers. He also credited the strong civic presence in each community.

“They make it their business to actually stay close with the precinct,” he said.

The planning for the summer event begins roughly five months before it takes place. Santoro said most of the activities and food are donated by businesses and civic groups.

Santoro added that the event gets bigger each year. They used to host National Night Out at Mafera Park in Ridgewood, but the parking there was “tight.”

“We have a little more room to spread out here,” he said.

The summer concert series in the park also takes place on the same night, drawing even larger crowds.

Santoro said even the number of organizations tabling each year has grown as well.

“We hope to continue to grow it every year,” he said.

At around 6:30 p.m., the rain began falling heavily, forcing attendees to stand under tents.

As the downpour continued, people left the park in droves, ending the event earlier than anticipated.
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