For Olympia residents Cleveland Scott and Angela Brengan, it’s important that their children get to know the police officers in their neighborhood.
That’s why the family spent Tuesday evening at Olympia’s Artesian Commons Park interacting with Olympia Police Department officers and officials from Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers and the Target Zero Thurston Task Force for National Night Out Against Crime.
“We were originally just down here to get water,” Brengan said. “But we saw all this happening and decided to stay. I want the kids to know that cops can be good people.”
Olympia Police Lt. Paul Lower said department personnel planned to attend more than 20 National Night Out events across the city Tuesday night, but they chose the Artesian Commons as the location of their main event.
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“It’s a popular park,” Lower said. “It’s located in the middle of downtown, and we wanted to do something downtown.”
The goal was to help people get to know their police department, and the agencies they work with, Lower said.
The event included a demonstration by Officer Randy Wilson and K-9 Melnic and an appearance by the robot used in hostage negotiations. Chief Ronnie Roberts played basketball with some of the event’s attendees.
“I seem to have lost my game,” Roberts joked.
While it was a fun event, it also was meant to educate.
Brengan’s son, Allen Brengan, tried walking a police tape line wearing a pair of goggles that simulate impairment.
“I felt like I was really dizzy,” Allen Brengan said. “I couldn’t walk in a straight line.”