National Night Out
Event brings together police, residents
By Holly Neumann
National Night Out, an annual campaign that promotes police and community partnerships, was held Aug. 7 at the Manawa Rodeo grounds.
Annette Ziebel, Manawa Lions Club president, said she was pleased with the turnout of people.
“This is a great event,” she said. “It’s a way to get the community together, to meet their fire and police departments, and it helps the kids as they grow up seeing them around and not being afraid.”
Ellen Connor agrees.
“It brings together people together from all walks of life, young and old,” said Connor. “It is law enforcement driven in an effort for the police to get out and know their community. But it also give the community the opportunity to get to know their police officers and also firemen.”
The evening was filled with a show by the Pink Ribbon Rebels, games for the children and a demonstration by Deputy Nick Traeger and his K9 partner Ike.
“It’s very good for the public to get to see another tool that the Sheriff’s Office and police departments use,” said Sheriff Deputy Nick Traeger. “The K-9 is funded through public donations so it’s great to go out in the public and show off the dog and what he is all about. They are used in multiple ways from tracking to apprehension to sniffing narcotics.”
Traeger and Ike have been partners for the past five years.
“National Night Out is all about relationship building,” said Traeger. “Showing the public how beneficial it is to have a K9 unit is part of that.”
With help from Manawa’s Assistant Fire Chief Josh Smith, Traeger gave a demonstration on how the dog is used to apprehend a criminal.
Smith was surprised by the strength of Ike.
“I have seen the exercise done before, but I have always been the spectator,” Smith said. “He has a lot more power than you think. Even with the protective sleeve on it still feels like a snake bite. I would not want to be the person he is after, ever.”
Smith said it was nice for the public to see this demonstration.
“It shows the community just how hard the K9 units work,” he said.
Many of those in attendance seemed to enjoy the event.
“I got to sit in the police car,” said Minton Rausch
“Seeing the K9 demonstration was great,” said Scott Paulson.
Even the 2019 Mid-Western Rodeo Princess Tia King and Queen Sara Harmon had fun.
“It was great to get out and become a part of the community,” said King. “Sara and I even had a photo with the firemen. We even got to wear their gear. I don’t know how they do what they do, that stuff is heavy.”
“National Night Out is a great event. It brings everyone together and shows just how wonderful this community really is,” Harmon said. “And it shows just how hard the police and fire departments work to keep communities safe.”
National Night Out is an annual event that helps build relationships between neighbors, police and fire under positive circumstances.