By Sarah Elmquist Squires

Managing Editor

This Tuesday the Fremont County Fairgrounds will come alive – this time, in an effort to unite law enforcement and emergency crews with the community they serve in celebration of National Night Out. 

“It helps with that trust,” explained Riverton Police Chief and National Night Out organizer Eric Hurtado. “We want to make sure the public knows and gets to know the officers that are helping to serve the community.” 

The event will run from 3-6 p.m. and feature carnival games, emergency vehicles, and lots of prizes, along with a free hot dog, chips and drink meal. Local gift cards and other items will be raffled off, with kids filling out stamp cards for a chance to win. 

Along with the Riverton Police Department staff members, other fire and medical agencies will be on hand to show off equipment from helicopters to firetrucks. “The fire department will have an event where they’re going to show their jaws of life and how they would extricate somebody in the case of an emergency, and have a vehicle they’re going to cut up to show off their skills,” Hurtado explained. 

Prizes of gift cards from $25 and up, along with the free meals expected to serve up to 1,000 people, have been donated by local businesses and organizations, and Hurtado said he has been impressed with all the folks willing to step in and lend a hand for the event. Several nonprofits will help man the stations and serve food; with the Riverton Police Department currently short-staffed, Hurtado said he’d have his available officers there, and appreciated those willing to help out and volunteer. 

“The National Night Out organization slowly spread through police departments throughout the U.S., and now every year, either the first Tuesday in August or the first Tuesday of October, police departments will have events in the community to do their part of serving the community, getting to know the people that they help to protect,” Hurtado said. “It’s a good opportunity to come out and get to meet their first responders at a level they’re not always able to see them.” 

If you’d like to help out or donate, call Lisa Looper at 307-856-7602.