The National Night Out event brought the community together Tuesday to talk to representatives of many law enforcement and community agencies who have presences in or near Havre.
Many agencies had booths set up at the Montana State University-Northern campus to talk to anyone who had questions about what they do. Hill County Search and Rescue, Boy Scouts of America, U.S. Border Patrol, Havre Fire Department, Montana Highway Patrol, FBI, Canadian Royal Mounted Police, Havre Police Department and Salvation Army were entertaining and informing attendees of the event.
Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch said that the main reason for National Night Out was to get the community involved with agencies that operate in the Havre area and to raise awareness of crime prevention.
The event offered a pleasant environment for community members to get to know the workings of the various agencies, instead of the more unwelcoming situation of visiting the offices of the agencies, said Fitch.
“It also gives people a chance to know the differences between agencies,” Fitch said.
Havre Police Department and Havre Fire Department brought vehicles for people to see and explore. Children were allowed to climb aboard fire trucks as firefighters explained how the different parts of the trucks worked and the services they offered. Havre police set up a taped-off crime scene where people could search for clues about a fake murder victim's demise.
Carole Raymond, a Canadian Mountie from Regina, said the Mounties were there to see if the style of the event would fare well where she was stationed in Canada and also to raise awareness of crime prevention.
Havre Daily News/Linsday Brown
Karley McKay, McGruff and Yvette LeValley pose with the bike LeValley won in a raffle by the Havre Hill Crime Stoppers.
“If you can decrease crime, you can make the community safer,” Raymond said. “That’s what my unit is trying to do.”
From what she saw at the event, Raymond said she thinks a similar gathering would fare well in Regina.
Christian Montanez, a Border Patrol agent, said the main reason for the National Night Out was “to get the community together and give them a chance to get to know the different law agencies they can go to for help.”
Children and adults alike were graced with the presence McGruff the Crime Dog and the mascots of MSU-Northern, who were often found dancing to the disc jockey’s music choices.
Big Willy’s BBQ gave away free brisket sandwiches and cake to those who came to the National Night Out. They were accepting donations to be given to the Havre Food Bank in return for their service.