A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Police officers and community leaders help kids get ready for school with Newport Night Out

By Steve Oldfield
Children, Inc.’s Student Service Network

Newport Police officers threw a big party for kids and their families to help them get ready to go back to school.

Free haircuts

The officers joined forces with community businesses and non-profits to make sure the kids have everything they need to succeed – from school supplies to help on staying healthy.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Lt. Paul Kunkel, who organized the event at Newport Pavilion. “This is strictly about community. It’s about police. It’s about people. It’s about businesses coming together to create something unique.”

Kunkel rallied businesses to donate everything from pizza and burgers to free haircuts.

“Some of these kids have never gotten a haircut outside of their kitchens,” Kunkel said.

They also gave away more than 50 bicycles.

“We’re trying to get kids off their phones and outside playing,” Kunkel said.

Newport Night Out

The Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission and the Army National Guard brought dozens of volunteers to help create some good memories for the kids and their families when it comes to interacting with police officers.

“Community policing is what it is,” said supporter David Ferguson. “The more the officers interact with the community the more the community realizes that they’re real people behind the badge.”

When he was a younger man, Ferguson was arrested by Lt. Kunkel. Ferguson has turned his life around and wanted to support the officers who helped him to make changes.

“I’m a convicted felon and if I can go to college, support a family and keep a job for 12 years, anybody can.”

Newport Night Out Coordinator Paul Kunkel invited champion BMX rider Zach Newman of Ramp Up to perform along with some local kids.

Bicycle giveaways

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