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Palos Hills held its fifth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd St. Pictured on the far right is Jeff Cucio, Chief of Police for the Palos Hills Police Department, along with members of the Palos Hills Police Department. (Photos by Kelly White)

Palos Hills held its fifth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd St. Pictured on the far right is Jeff Cucio, Chief of Police for the Palos Hills Police Department, along with members of the Palos Hills Police Department. (Photos by Kelly White)

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Palos Hills turns out as National Night Out returns

By Kelly White

Strengthening the relationship between neighbors and local law enforcement, Palos Hills was proud to take part in National Night Out.

The city held its fifth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd St.

“The city of Palos Hills is again proud to host the National Night Out event,” Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett said. “It offers an opportunity for our residents to recognize the service of our men and women of the Palos Hills Police Department. This event allows are police department personal to interact with our residents in a cooperative spirit of making Palos Hills a safer community.”

The event that promotes police-community partnerships not only in Palos Hills, but all over the United States, is held annually on the first Tuesday in August.

“National Night Out is a great way for us to be able to interact with the public in a light-hearted, stress-free environment,” Jeff Cucio, Chief of Police for the Palos Hills Police Department, said. “We always look forward to the interaction between the police department and the public during this event. We are able to meet and communicate with members of our local community and with members of the surrounding communities.”

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Vanessa Sojka, 7, of Hickory Hills, and her best friend, Lena Galus, 6, of Palos Hills, had fun together at Palos Hills’ fifth annual National Night Out on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street.

Residents were able to tour police and fire vehicles on-site and see what is inside a squad car and take photos of children sitting inside of the vehicles pretending to drive them.

“Events like this really give the public the opportunity to not only meet members of the police department, but also see what we do,” Cucio said. “The police department is always happy to be involved in any event that the city puts on.”

The free event was organized by the city’s Community Resource Department, the Palos Hills Police Department, North Palos Fire Protection District and Green Hills Public Library District.

All of the city’s public officials were also actively involved in the planning of the city’s National Night Out that they said provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Bennett took time to thank all of those involved in the organizing of the annual event.

“The city thanks our police department, community resource department and the Green Hills Public Library for coordinating this event and to the many sponsors who have financially underwritten the cost in allowing this event to take place for our residents,” Bennett said.

The evening also offered a wide array of family-friendly fun activities at Town Square Park, including: a live DJ for musical entertainment providing family-friendly tunes, face painting, balloon artists, tour of police and fire vehicles, inflatable, crafts, car seat checks, snacks and refreshments and Bingo for the adults.

The Hills Chamber of Commerce also was on hand and gave out 200 backpacks packed with school supplies donated by chamber members and local businesses to children who will be going back to the classroom later this month.

This was the 38th year that the event has been held nationally. A total of 16,500 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases celebrated the event along with the city of Palos Hills.

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Palos Hills held its fifth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street.

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