BALLINGER - The first National Night Out was held in Ballinger on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and the community came out to participate in a variety of activities including meeting with law enforcement and first responders. About 150 citizens attended the first ever event.

BALLINGER - The first National Night Out was held in Ballinger on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and the community came out to participate in a variety of activities including meeting with law enforcement and first responders. About 150 citizens attended the first ever event.

Police Chief Stan Maresch said was excited to host the first ever event in Ballinger. The event was sponsored by National Association of Town Watch, the Ballinger Police Department and the Ballinger Area Chamber of Commerce as well as Buddy's Plant Plus, Ballinger National Bank and numerous local businesses and organizations, who provided food, goods and services and support. 


"It was a better turn out than we expected," Maresch said. "We only had about a month to plan for it."


National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention and awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals to let them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.


“When I became chief one of my main goals was to focus on more community outreach,” Maresch said. “And this is the perfect way to reach out, while possibly preventing crimes in the process.”

During the event, Maresch spoke to the crowd and reminded them why they were there.  


"This was a good situation for people to come out and meet the officers and get to know them better because most of the time (when we meet the public)  it is in a bad situation," Maresch said. 


The Ballinger Fire Department provided their bounce house and showed off their new brush truck to the crowd during the event. Ballinger Memorial Hospital was on hand as well, showing off one of their two new ambulances. First Community Federal Credit Union brought their dunk tank, but only one person was brave enough to do it, Maresch said.

Amanda Collom, a local business owner who supported the event thanked all of the supporters.


"First Responders and I were very pleased with a turn out of about 150 residents from our community," Collom said. "We appreciate Buddy's and Ballinger National Bank for sponsoring our first annual National Night Out. We also thank the organizations that had booths and the volunteers who brought sides. The first National Night Out was a great example of the unity in our community and a great way to build relationships between residents and first responders. We look forward to building on this event next year and continuing to strengthen relationships within our community."

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.


"We are already planning for next year," Maresch said.