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Presque Isle holds first National Night Out

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aiming to build ties between community members and police and to promote neighborhood safety, the Presque Isle Police Department held its first ever National Night Out event Tuesday.

Local police organized the event, held at the Sargent Family Community Center, in collaboration with members of a range of other community organizations and businesses, including mental healthcare providers from the Northern Light House and Aroostook Mental Health Center, the Hope & Justice Project and Wintergreen Arts Center. Teams from Lowe’s and Verizon were showing off home safety products such as security camera systems and deadbolt locks.

Despite the heavy rain and humidity, there were also outdoor food trucks, and a steady stream of people coming inside to check out the event.

Presque Isle Police Detective Kris Beck helped organize the event and said it’s part of a national effort to promote police-community partnerships going back 35 years.

“It helps to foster community police partnerships to make neighborhoods safer,” said Beck. “We’re just trying to get the word out and get participation in the community so we can all be a little bit safer.”

While Presque Isle is an overall safe place, as the region’s largest population center, it also has its fair share of crime, including ongoing problems with drug abuse and domestic violence.  

Overall, Beck said, the Presque Isle Police Department has a strong relationship with the public at large.

“I feel good about it. We have a good positive response from the community. We try to be there for the public and to work for the public. We’re people too.”

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