National Night Out Returns to Washington Twp.
Target, local police and first aid join forces to host event.
Despite a loss of funding from Washington Township, National Night Out still made its presence known on Tuesday, this time in the Target Department Store parking lot on Route 46.
Hosted by the national retail chain with support from the Washington Township Police, Long Valley First Aid Squad, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Piggy’s Deli from Mansfield, the event offered giveaways and fingerprinting for children.
This year’s event–the first since 2009 because of budget restraints–was planned in just five weeks, according to Washington Township Police Lt. Art Adams.
“(Target Assets Protection Leader) Dave Dreher contacted me and asked if we were interested in partnering,” Adams said. “It’s a good event because it gets the word out to the community and brings public safety awareness.”
The nationwide initiative is also a major sticking point for Target, according to Human Resources manager Billy Reeves.
“We want to show our commitment to the community,” Reeves said. “We had 37 million participants last year nationwide, 10,000 of which were (Target) employees. It helps us to get to know our neighbors.”
Target gives back 5-percent of its profits to each community annually, Reeves said, which amounts to approximately $3 million per week.
“If we could get this back to something bigger, that would be great,” Adams said. “But at least this is a start.”