A crowd gathers to watch the Eastpointe Fire Department demonstrate a vehicle extrication during National Night Out Aug. 2 at Eastpointe’s Kennedy Park.

A crowd gathers to watch the Eastpointe Fire Department demonstrate a vehicle extrication during National Night Out Aug. 2 at Eastpointe’s Kennedy Park.

Photo by Brian Wells

National Night Out connects police, firefighters with Eastpointe, Roseville residents

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 8, 2022

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — At first, 2-year-old Tyler Lombardo was apprehensive about meeting Roseville police K-9 Chase. He hid behind his mother, but after some words of encouragement from Roseville Police Detective Brain Dobrzycki, who held the leash, the boy approached the dog and began stroking its fur.

Scenes like this were plentiful at National Night Out events held in Eastpointe and Roseville Tuesday, Aug. 2.

“National Night Out is a traditional event where the police try to get to know their public a little bit better and one on one,” said George Rouhib, Eastpointe’s public safety director.

Eastpointe police and fire were on hand at the event, which was held at the city’s Kennedy Park. They were handing out literature on the department’s neighborhood watch group and educating the public on different programs that the department offers, such as gun locks.

The departments also provided demonstrations, such as a vehicle extrication, and they had equipment and vehicles on display. The department also was bonding with the community.

“We’re trying to get with the kids, and a lot of kids are typically afraid of police officers, but we just want to show them that we’re just as human as they are. We’re not robots,” Rouhib said.

Jennifer Burke and her daughters, Sophia, 8, and Angel, 11, sat in the grass near the park’s softball fields watching the Eastpointe Fire Department demonstrate a vehicle extrication.

“It’s something to do. They enjoy the bounce houses. We’ll spend some money on snow cones, smoothies, enjoy the music,” she said.

Burke said it was important for her family to support the local police and fire departments.

In conjunction with National Night Out, the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe held the inaugural Rockin’ Summer Night concert at Kennedy Park too. There were vendors selling food and handmade goods.

Roseville’s event at Veterans Memorial Park also had vendors, a booth selling food and a DJ playing music. Similar to Eastpointe, the police and fire departments were raffling off bikes and school supplies. They also had vehicles on display, and they handed out literature on the different programs offered by the departments.

Roseville Chief of Police Ryan Monroe said that he was satisfied with this year’s turnout. He said it was the biggest event that he can remember.

Monroe echoed Rouhib’s sentiment about it being an important event for the department to connect with the community.

“It’s to show the community that we’re not just here for law enforcement,” he said. “We’re part of the community. We’re here to help them and support them and build and foster relationships with our citizens.”