Community turns out for 'Night Out'
Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels had thought last year's "Community Night Out" was the best ever, but said all that changed Tuesday night.
"It was the biggest crowd and the best one yet," the chief said. He estimated attendance at Alexandria City Park at between 1,000 and 1,200 people, dubbing the event a "big community picnic."
The Alexandria Police Department, in collaboration with the city, hosted the annual event, "Growing Stronger by Building Strong Community Partnerships."
Young kids on up to older adults enjoyed the free event, which included hot dogs, chips and frozen custard, demonstrations, prizes, an inflatable "Fire Hopper," kids' games and more.
Wyffels believes the turnout was due in part to the weather and the free food, but mostly because of how Alexandria residents have rallied around its police force and law enforcement in general.
"Our community people have really stepped up to the plate to support us," said Wyffels, who added how much he and his officers appreciate everyone's support.
Police Captain Scott Kent called it an "unbelievable crowd." He said the food line started at 4:30 p.m. and was non-stop almost the entire time.
Kent noted another contributing factor to the event's success was an additional handful of community partners that participated.