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Police offer insights to communities

Cheektowaga Police Lt. Mark J. Petruniak wants citizens to take an opportunity to see their tax dollars at work Tuesday night.

After all, fingerprinting is only one of the tools available to law enforcement.

"Each and every year, we look forward to meeting the public," Petruniak said. "It's nice to show them what we have and what we can do."

Tuesday marks the 28th annual National Night Out, whose participants include several local police agencies. The program -- which includes everything from block parties and cookouts to flashlight walks -- was created by organizers to strengthen anti-crime efforts in communities nationwide.

Cheektowaga has been a consistent participant for the last 25 years. Events will be held throughout the town from 6 to 8 p.m. at locations such as Town Park.

Attendees will be able to see demonstrations from the SWAT, DARE and K-9 units. A rollover accident simulator will display the dangers of driving while drunk or distracted.

Child fingerprinting and bike registration will also be offered.

The Depew Police Department has also been a frequent Night Out participant since the program's inception. Since then, the village has averaged upward of 4,000 people each year, said Officer David Anthony, chairman of the village's Night Out committee.

All events are free to the public.

In addition to Cheektowaga and Depew, Western New York communities registered for Night Out include: Angola, Batavia, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Fredonia, Grand Island, Hamburg, Jamestown, Lockport, North Tonawanda and the Town of Tonawanda. Other municipalities also may participate.


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