The sausages were smoldering, the inflatable fun houses were bouncing and local residents were meeting and greeting some of New York’s Finest as Cabbell Park in Cambria Heights joined in the celebration of the annual National Night Out on Tuesday evening.
Among those on hand to help kick things off was NYPD Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South.
“It’s where the community and the police department come together in an effort to make a stand against crime,” he said. “The younger children are able to interact with the police officers in a very positive way. They get to see police officers in a less traditional law enforcement role.”
Joining Barrere was Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), who added, “There are a lot of parts of the city where the relationships [between the police department and the community] are not as good as in Queens. We consider the local precincts our friends.”
Queens Village resident Tiffanie Marcano, who is married to a police officer, said she attends the event every year.
“There are so many things going on,” she said. “Kids need an outlet.”
This time around, she was joined by her 5-year-old daughter Megan, who, in between bites on a hot dog almost as big as she was, said she was enjoying herself because she likes “to run around and play.”
Among the local organizations represented at the event were the Rosedale Civic Association, the Federated Blocks of Laurelton, the Community Emergency Response Team, the Lions Club of Queens and American Veterans Post 10-13. The crowd was estimated by police officials to be in the hundreds.
The plentiful food, including jerk chicken — with or without the sauce — rice and beans, corn on the cob, watermelon and assorted cakes, was donated by community residents, local businesses and elected officials.
The event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, took place simultaneously at eight locations in Queens South alone.