Tuesday night, Dyer and Munster joined cities all across the country in hosting a National Night Out, where local police joined with local businesses and nonprofits such as Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for a night of food, fun, and education. Residents and police mingled as they explored the numerous booths and stands that filled the park.
The National Night Out is a chance for police departments to engage with their communities and raise awareness about any programs they run. Last year, more than 38 million residents in communities across the US participated in the event. Many local business and nonprofits join in, including Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation and their sister organization, the Munster Med-Inn. DNR came together to create a “Diamond Dig,” where kids dug for gems like emeralds and diamonds.
“Tonight is super important,” said Kelly Petty, Regional Director of Business Development for Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “It’s a great way for the Dyer Police Department and the community to come together in a partnership and build a neighborhood camaraderie. We wanted to come out and show support for such an amazing event.”
Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and it's sister organization, Munster Med-Inn offers quality care and rehabilitation services to the Northwest Indiana community. The center is determined to connect with the community through a number of events during the year and National Night Out is the perfect way for the organization to do just that.
There was no shortage of things to do: the Dyer PD cooked burgers and more for residents and took the chance to introduce the community to their police dogs and programs. Meanwhile, businesses and nonprofits offered raffles, music, food, and more. Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s Diamond Dig was a hit, as eager kids sifted through sand and rocks to find their jewels while their parents picked up free iced coffee.
“It’s a great theme,” said Megan Bishop, Regional Director of Assisted Living for Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “At Dyer Nursing, we believe we are the diamond in rehab, and with our café it’s a way to show people we’ve got a lot ‘brewing’ at Dyer Rehab. We’re keeping everybody perked up to enjoy the evening.”
While the police were the focus of the evening, they were glad to have partners like Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Med-Inn out supporting the event. Brian Kissinger, Dyer PD’s Community Resource Officer and K9 Handler, explained his perspective on the event and why the relationship between services like Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the police is so important.
“I started off as a patrol officer, and the one thing I started to notice is that when you work with the community, they’re on your side,” he said. “So we decided 15 years ago to put an event on and say thanks to our community and our businesses. And when we work with services like that, officers on patrol can help residents or non-residents get the necessary help or services they need to get along.”
Of course it’s a relationship that works both ways, just as the police look to their community for help, organizations like Dyer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Med-Inn depend on the police and other emergency services in their times of need, Bishop explained.
“We’re here supporting and partnering with our first responders,” she said. “These are the people that we call when we need assistance for our residence, so we’re going to support them just as much as they support us.”