The annual Children’s Parade for a Safer Williston Park was held last Tuesday, filling the village’s streets with children on bicycles following a procession lead by Williston Park Auxiliary Police Unit No. 202.
The parade was part of National Night Out, a nationwide event that allows communities to promote involvement in safer-neighborhood activities, police-community partnerships and town pride. This year’s version was put together by Doreen Ehrbar, former mayor of Williston Park, where her husband, Paul Ehrbar, is now mayor.
The parade began at approximately 7 p.m. at the intersection of Broad and Amherst streets before turning right at Syracuse Street to enter the Kelleher Field picnic area. There children and adolescents waited for the pack of strollers and bicycles being used by adults to catch up and congregate before moving down the right field line of Kelleher Field to drop off their bikes. The parade took place at the same time as a Little League game between Williston Park and Manhasset.
Once settled, the crowd was welcomed with snacks, ice cream, and Mayor Paul Ehrbar on stage alongside members of the Nassau County Police Department, district attorney’s office and Mineola Trustee Dennis J. Walsh. Being from Williston Park, Walsh cited how different the town is from when he was younger.
“I grew up right down the block and haven’t been here in awhile. This is so much different from when I played Little League, it’s unbelievable,” Walsh said. “To everyone who put this together you did a sensational job.”
The evening concluded with a Q&A between children and Nassau County Police Officers Alison Adamski and Mark Maguire. The problem-oriented policing officers from the 3rd Precinct answered questions ranging from “what happens when you get hurt in a bicycle accident” to “why did you want to be a cop?” Each child who asked a question received a foam soccer ball or frisbee from the Nassau County Police Department Foundation.
Problem-oriented police officers respond not to emergencies, but recurring issues in a community.
“Think what traditional patrol cars wouldn’t do,” Maguire told a reporter.