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Police, Alive@5 team up: National Night Out to coincide with Gwen Sebastian concert Thursday

The Dickinson Police Department is teaming up with Alive@5 for National Night Out, which will coincide with the Gwen Sebastian street concert Thursday.

The event put on in cities across the U.S. and Canada is a chance for police departments to promote crime prevention programs and for residents to meet officers. It’s a way to that police and community members can work together to “take a bite out of crime,” senior patrol officer Ron VanDoorne said.

“One of the ways that we do that is to bring the community to our block party,” VanDoorne said.

This is the second year Dickinson police are putting on the event, but this year they are working with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, area ambulance and local fire departments, VanDoorne said. It is also the first year the departments will partner with Alive@5.

The event will feature static displays and officers on hand to answer questions, VanDoorne said. There will also be free ice cream, jumping castles and games for children.

With a rise in crime in western North Dakota comes a stronger need to work together with all departments, VanDoorne said. The departments have worked well together, he said, adding they have almost become a part of each other.

“We do kind of lean on each other,” he said.

Alive@5 promotes downtown business and is open to the public. Thursday’s event will feature a concert by Sebastian, a North Dakota native and country singer who first claimed her fame on the NBC TV show “The Voice.” Outlaw Sippin’ with Jessie Veeder will open for the singer at 5 p.m. Sebastian is expected to hit the stage at 6:45 p.m.

The night should draw a large crowd, Alive@5 Director Eric Smallwood said, adding it will be “one of the biggest events in downtown Dickinson.”

The National Night Out portion of the event will run 4-8 p.m. in the downtown Dickinson parking lot, located at Second Avenue West and First Street West. VanDoorne hopes it will become an annual event to reach out to the community.

“We would recommend that people get together in their neighborhoods and get to know who their neighbors are,” VanDoorne said. “We go back to this old adage that we had years ago at the police department. Our slogan used to be ‘Hear it, see it, report it.’ That’s what our big message is going to be this year, to thank everyone for their extra set of eyes.”

Baumgarten is the assistant editor of The Dickinson Press. Tweet her at aprilbaumsaway and call her at 701-456-1210.

April Baumgarten
April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, as the news editor. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college,  she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.