As summer draws to a close, two local organizations are gearing up to make an impact in the community.
Volunteers for Youth and the Claremore Police Department have teamed up to create the Back to School Bash at Claremore’s Night Out.
Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown said National Night out is a national movement that encourages police departments and citizens to come together in community settings and build relationships.
He said it made sense to partner with Volunteers for Youth to also provide school supplies.
From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on August 3, families can head to Claremore Lake Splash Pad to get school supplies, haircuts, an antibody test, jump on inflatables and enjoy a cone of snow, a pizza and a drink.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., COVID vaccines and sports physical exams can be performed at the Will Rogers Rodeo parking lot.
Mendy Stone, senior director of the Volunteers for Youth project for the TSET Healthy Living program, said they will also provide a variety of support and resources for families ranging from mental health to developmental difficulties.
Stone said they’ve done school returns in the past, but it made sense to partner with the police department this year.
“There will be a good crowd of families in attendance and it will put supplies in the hands of as many people as possible,” she said.
This year is the first year that the two events are combined.
CPD has been running Claremore Night Out for at least nine years. Brown said they started the event in the police department parking lot.
“We passed it and moved to the paddling pool on the west side and then we passed it,” he said.
Brown said at the last event that they served 800 meals.
“We are going to feed until we run out of food,” he said.
Volunteers for Youth contacted Brown regarding a community outreach venture of some type.
Brown said the event is a great opportunity for children and families to see police officers in a relaxed, “non-threatening” environment with their own families.
“We’re going to interact with the crowd, we’re going to interact with the kids, we’re going to interact with the parents or the grandparents, whatever it is,” he said. “Just to help them understand that, hey, we’re just people raising our families in the same community.”
Brown said he hopes this event will help get rid of the stigma and feelings that children may have towards the police.
“We are here to keep everyone safe and protected,” he said. “We want children to feel safe and able to come to us with a problem, whether it’s at school or if we have to come to their house – that they feel free and comfortable to approach us and talk to us.”
Brown said whether the event accomplishes that or not, it’s worth a try, and either way, it will help build relationships with community members.
“I look forward to this wonderful outreach program,” he said. “The ability for us at Claremore Police Department to promote our mission.”
CPD’s mission is to promote safety, security and a better quality of life in and for the City of Claremore through our personal and organizational commitment to excellence and accountability.
“This is just one step in accomplishing that mission,” he said. “We want people to know us so they can hold us accountable as an individual and an organization.”