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EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville National Night Out event seemed to mesh the officers perfectly with children and families on Tuesday night at City Park in Edwardsville.

It seemed there was something for everyone and Jason Hunter, the officer who coordinated the night for the Edwardsville Police Department said he saw a smile on all the kids’ faces that attended.

“It was amazing,” he said. “The weather turned out to be perfect. I think the kids and families really appreciated it. They were able to take advantage of free fun. The kids gave us hugs and fist bumps, and I think it was one of the more successful National Night Out events to date.”

“Officer Bearden spent a couple hours in the hot sun grilling,” Hunter said. “Kohl’s donated the stuffed animals and those were at a premium.”

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The Edwardsville Police Department had a child ID station sponsored by The Edge Bank and it was popular, placing the child’s picture, fingerprints, and description on an information card. Police cars, fire trucks and first responders were on display. A restored vintage German Unimog Fire Truck was one of the more popular items to view. Also present was a military Special Forces vehicle and a SWAT vehicle.

Children received the free hot dogs, water, popcorn and cold treats. Fire and Police Department personnel even volunteered to get dunked for the children. There was an inflatable obstacle course and free inflatable bounce house and several vendors presenting local craft tables for kids.

Nine Edwardsville Police officers took part in the event, along with Edwardsville Fire Department personnel, along with reps from the Glen Carbon Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police with vehicles.

Hunter said he felt love and appreciation all night from the families and their children.

“The kids were just so happy,” he said. “It was a big success.”

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