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National Night Out block party all about local children

By Staff | Aug 3, 2011

Andrea Galabinski Cape Coral Police Chief Jay Murphy (right) with K-9 officer Bob Reese and dog Ben at National Night Out.

The 28th annual “National Night Out” was held Tuesday night in Cape Coral – and was all about children, said organizer Bill Speed, president of the Cape Coral Neighborhood Watch.

“This Night Out really is about our partnership with law enforcement – and in influencing the minds of children in a positive way,” Sneed said.

A highlight of the block party event was a children’s talent show.

“I’m really amazed at the awesome talent of the young people of Cape Coral,” he said of the 20 plus performers.

Law enforcement officials and emergency personnel came to meet and greet local parents and children of the community at Jaycee Park, where the event was held.

There was the Cape Coral Police Chief Jay Murphy himself, along with members of the local Community Emergency Re-sponse Team, K-9 officers and their charges, firemen and more. A kid’s talent show was also held.

Concerning the Neighborhood Watch, Murphy said, “It’s not what they’ve done, but what they stand for. They support us (law enforcement) and the community and are our eyes and ears. The fact that they take pride in the community gives us an advantage. They assist fellow citizens and do so in a positive way.”

Many in the watch group have helped foil robberies and more, he added.

Local young performers in the talent show included Jenna Jenson, Bella Pizzani and Megan Sanzetenea, along with Sadie Reichenbach and Sammi Flynn.

One couple that is a big supporter of the local police and Neighborhood Watch are Debbie and Rick Burnfield. Their son, Officer Nate Burnfield, was killed in the line of duty in 2008 while serving as a police officer.

“These guys are my family now,” said Debbie, who brought her dog Bear to the event. “He would be so proud.”

The event was an effort that brings heightened awareness among neighbors, and neighborhoods, to stamp out crime and create a sense of community.