Common ground at the Common: National Night Out all about relationship building

Harrison Thorp 7:40 a.m.

Common ground at the Common: National Night Out all about relationship building

Shaun Frechetter, 5, of Rochester high fives Rochester Police Community Engagement Officer Kyle Danie as Police Chief Paul Toussaint looks on. (Rochester Voice photos)

ROCHESTER - The annual event designed to build and strengthen relationships between police and the community they serve was greeted with perfect weather and a grateful crowd Tuesday afternoon at the Rochester Common.

Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint and Community Engagement Officer Kyle Danie were both on hand for the annual National Night Out exchanging light-hearted banter with eventgoers, who chose from a host of activities designed to engage young and old alike.

Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley was also on hand to address the crowd on this night when the importance of synergy of a closely knit community and a proactive police department takes center stage.

Simeon Lotz, 8, of Rochester Cub Scout Pack 186 arranges Pinewood Derby awards for last night's National Night Out display at the Rochester Common.

"It's all about building relationships," Toussaint said. "National Night Out is a unique opportunity for the community and members of the department to connect with one another."

Activities included a rock wall, dunk tank and a free movie at dusk.

There was also a host of police and fire vehicles on hand for kids to climb aboard and explore.

Organizations on hand included My Turn, the Strafford County Family Justice Center, Boy and Cub Scouts, Rochester Recreation, Rochester Main Street and the Rochester Child Care Center among many others.

A welcome addition to this year's event was the several food trucks and kiosks serving up suppertime fare.