NNO was a good time

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
NNO was a good time
BOWLING FOR POP — Naomi Yeager, a third grader, lets a watermelon bowling ball rip across the grass to pins of Coca-Cola. This was a popular kids’ game at the National Night Out on Tuesday. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   Despite the cool temperatures and wind that actually made it chilly out, the first National Night Out (NNO) in Conrad was a good time.
   The NNO is a national event put on by communities and taking place around the country from Hoboken, N.J. to San Diego and points in between.
   The events go on throughout the U.S. every year, starting 26 years ago. This is the first time the event has been put on in Conrad.
   The theme of “America’s Night out against Crime” afforded local, state and federal law enforcement agencies the opportunity to work with the community to raise awareness of the law enforcement mission and to try and develop the partnerships that are critical to keeping our communities safe.
   Law enforcement agencies had a wide variety of informational tables set up and could talk one-on-one with community members, or have demonstrations, such as the Crash Machine from the MHP with Sgt. Bob Bender who is stationed in Shelby and the K-9 demonstration with J. Taylor (Not to be confused with Dr. J. Taylor) and his dog Diana from the Border patrol, also in Shelby.
   Taylor told the I-O that Diana, a three-year-old German Shepherd, is a drug sniffer and detection dog.
   She came from a training center in El Paso, Texas, by way of Germany and cost about $40,000 to train.
   On a typical day, the Border Patrol may have (nationally) 2,796 apprehensions at and in between our nation’s ports of entry; make 73 criminal arrests, intercept 76 fraudulent documents, seize 7,621 pounds of drugs and close to $300,000 in undeclared currency.
   “It’s all in a day’s work,” said Taylor who had been stationed in southern California before being posted at the Port of Sweet Grass.
   Another neat place to visit was the crime lab trailer, kind of obscure in the corner of the park.
   Their trailer had over $2 million of high tech equipment packed into it and the “lab rats” as they called themselves were more than happy to tell you all about it.
   They can test for dirty bombs, DNA, bio-hazard materials and spills and a variety of other things.
   There are only 50 such labs in the U.S. one in each state, so Conrad was lucky to have the lab on site.
   Admittedly one night out is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence.
   However, NNO does represent the kind of community spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make neighborhoods safer throughout the year.
   In future years, NNO can only get better in putting out its crime prevention messages and successes.