Community Night Out, Aug. 4

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pStaff Report

The Milford Police Department (MPD) will host its annual Community Night Out on Tuesday, August 4 in Bicentennial Park from 6 to 8pm. The purpose of this event is to heighten awareness of the Milford Police Department’s services and crime prevention while the police department continues to build a strong relationship with the Milford Community.

This year’s event will mark the 21st year that the Milford Police Department has participated in the national event, which has been going on for more than 30 years, the first Tuesday of every August. The program aims to promote neighborhood spirit and a police-community partnership in fighting for a safer nation.

“This event allows us to continue to build our relationship with the families in our community,” said School Resource Officer and Event Organizer Robert Masten. “It helps us heighten awareness about our crime prevention measures as we showcase our services to the the public.”

Working in the Milford School District directly with students, officer Masten believes that a proactive approach to crime prevention is a positive step that the Milford Police Department has taken to continue serving local families. Graduating from Milford High School in 1994, Masten began with MPD in 2002 where he has served in several capacities including patrolman and community policing. Masten is no stranger to working in schools, receiving his SRO National Certification in 2005, he worked as the Milford School Resource Officer following officer Dave Taulbee. In 2013 Masten took over the position again after former School Resource Officer Joey Melvin accepted a job as Management Analysis under the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. He now works alongside two other School Resource Officers, Pfc Theresa Bloodswoth and Pfc Matt Smith, as they cover six schools in the Milford School District.

“The community Night out allows us to extend the work we do in the schools and spend time with the kids and their families in a positive setting,” said Masten. “Sometimes kids experience police only in a negative setting as they see the police coming to make an arrest in their neighborhood. This is another way for these families to see how we can make a positive impact on our community together.”

Milford Police Department’s Community Night Out will include free music, food, drinks and emergency vehicles on display. Representatives from the agencies including the Carlisle Fire Company, Delaware Attorney General’s Office Child Predator Task Force, Delaware Department of Highway Safety, Delaware Emergency Management, Sussex County EMS, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension have participated in the past and many are expected to return this year.

“We want families to have a good time, enjoy the band and hang out with neighbors,” said Masten. “It is always a fun night.”