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Tuesday, August 4 is "Night to Unite"

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opinion Fargo, 58102
West Fargo Pioneer
(701) 241-5487 customer support
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

A change is in the air and we have decided to join our neighbors in Minnesota by making a switch from National Night Out to Night to Unite! Recently the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association Board voted unanimously to switch to the campaign slogan Night to Unite.

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"Since we work so closely with our sister agencies in Minnesota and have already combined so much of our assets and man power, we felt it was only natural for the Cities of West Fargo, Fargo and, of course, Cass County to join in this change. This change will continue to foster the strong relationship we have amongst neighbor communities," said Chief Arland Rasmussen.

The annual event will remain virtually the same, and continue to be held on the first Tuesday evening in August. Night to Unite is designed to build neighborhood involvement by bringing police and communities together and bring awareness to crime prevention and local law enforcement efforts.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday August 4, at Elmwood Park. Like other years in the past the event will offer a wide variety of entertainment to include performances by the dancers from Halftime by Sheri, the West Fargo Packatahnas and the West Fargo Cheer Team. Other entertainment includes demonstrations from West Fargo Dog Obedience and West Fargo Parks Tae Kwon Do. Boy Scout Troop 232 of VFW Post 7564 is also sponsoring the Climbing Wall again this year. The wall will be available to adults and for children who have parental consent to participate. In order to participate you must be wearing tennis shoes.

In addition to the entertainment, there will also be informational booths and demonstrations sponsored by various community organizations and businesses including: the West Fargo Police Department, FM Ambulance, the Red River Valley S.W.A.T. Team and Valley Water Rescue. Several food vendors are returning, including Fry Bread Tacos & More, Dominos, the West Fargo Park District and the Boy Scouts. There will also be cotton candy and ice cream floats given away on a first-come first-serve basis. The floats are sponsored by Cass Clay Creamery and Coca Cola and served by the VFW Auxiliary Post 7564.

This year there will be some additions to Night to Unite including demonstrations of the Rollover Simulator, the addition of the m.i.l.k. digital ID program, and a display that showcases a train versus car crash and a video presentation emphasizing railroad crossing safety. The Rollover Simulator is a newly acquired educational tool that was purchased by the Safe Communities Coalition of the Red River Valley through a grant administered by AAA of North Dakota that is used to demonstrate the effects of a roll-over type vehicle crash. "The visual effects of the Rollover Simulator are a sobering reminder of 'Stay inside, Stay alive'" says Assistant Chief Michael Reitan. The m.i.l.k. digital ID program is sponsored by Farmers Insurance and is a component of the Home Organizer software program that stores vital data such as a current photograph of a child, their vital statistics and fingerprints on the computer. This information can then be printed out or e-mailed directly to law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children should the need ever arise.

"We look forward to another successful, fun and educational community event. It's going to be a fantastic time and we hope to see you there!" said Marcy Overby, coordinator of Night to Unite.

For more information pertaining to Night to Unite or how to get involved, contact the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500.

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