CRESTVIEW — Nearly 100 residents learned more about the Crestview Police Department and other community organizations during Tuesday’s National Night Out, officials said.


CRESTVIEW — Nearly 100 residents learned more about the Crestview Police Department and other community organizations during Tuesday’s National Night Out, officials said.



The department and the National Association of Town Watch sponsored the event, which promotes crime and drug prevention awareness. In addition to participating in several family-friendly activities, including playing in a bounce house and face painting, visitors browsed police department vehicles including a police cruiser and SWAT vehicle.



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"I've been living out here for 14 years now and I didn't realize that they had a SWAT vehicle," Michael Pawlak said.



 In addition, visitors could tour a converted EMS vehicle and see some of the equipment the department uses. 



Volunteers at tables for the Mid-Town Neighborhood Watch and the North Okaloosa/Crestview Community Emergency Response Team handed out information on their groups.



"We just wanted to come out and support the community," said Pawlak, whose children were excited to see Burger King handing out free hamburgers and bottled water.



Deana White invited her parents, Gary and Bonnie White, and brought her 8-month-old daughter, Aralynn Callins. 



"We want to give her new experiences," she said.



One new experience was introducing Aralynn to Blossom the skunk, a rescued animal from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.



Susan Leveille, the refuge’s assistant director, was excited to be part of the event.



"We love events that promote safe situations for children and education," she said.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.