National Night Out brings community together

About 750 attend Swanton event

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Executive Editor

The Facts

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SWANTON — National Night Out drew hundreds of people to Swanton Village Green and Taylor Park in St. Albans.

The event is intended to strengthen connections between the community and law enforcement, giving community members a chance to interact with officers.

In both communities, numerous agencies and community groups also joined the event.

“It truly became a community-based event,” Sgt. Eugene Rich of the Swanton Village Police said.

He estimated there were over 750 visitors to the Swanton green during the four-hour event. “We provided over 300 hamburgers and 500 hot dogs, and they were all gone within 2.5 hours,” said Rich.

Other first responders joined the Swanton event, such as Missisquoi Valley Rescue, the Swanton Fire Dept., and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Dept.

The Abenaki tribe had a table, as did the Swanton Arts Council, said Rich.

Among the attractions was a dunk tank. “The dunking booth was fantastic,” said Rich, adding that Swanton Police Chief Leonard Stell was a star attraction.

Dr. Fred Holmes was on hand to talk about drug awareness and local churches got together to hand out copies of “The Hungry Heart,” a documentary about opiate abuse filmed primarily in Franklin County.

“There are drug issues in every community and if we bring it to the forefront people are more aware,” said Rich.