By Kevin O’Rourke
Twenty-five families from the community surrounding Capt. J. Daly Elementary School on Brandermill Drive in Germantown came out to show support and solidarity with members of the Montgomery County Police Department as part of National Night Out.
The disc jockey kept the music pumping, while kids from the neighborhood had their faces painted, peppered police officers mounted on horseback with questions about their horses, and inspected the MCPD SWAT team’s Bearcat unit out front of the elementary school.
Representatives from the Montgomery County Office of the State’s Attorney were also on hand to give out information and literature about preventing gang activity, Internet safety, cyberbullying, and neighborhood watch programs.
But it was the cool police units that captured the attention of the many children in attendance. The Bearcat armored unit from the MCPD SWAT team was a huge draw. The kids were able to climb inside and look around the matte black truck. Of course the two horses from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police had their share of fans, as children of all ages stroked and petted the horses. But, when a member of the MCPD rode up on his motorcycle, the kids were quickly drawn to the two-wheeled unit.
The event was put together by Captain James Daly Elementary’s principal Nora Dietz. “We do a number of out-reach events for the community,” said Dietz. “It is natural that we would participate in this event since our school was named for a fallen police captain.”
In March of 1976, Captain James Daly and Corporal John Michael Frontczak, Jr. were shot and killed as they attempted to arrest a man who had just robbed a Potomac Savings & Loan Association office.
The evening was part of National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, and has traditionally included marches or vigils. Communities celebrate with a variety of events to help neighbors get to know one another and build community spirit. This is the 31st year of National Night Out observances.
To read more about Capt. James Daly go to his MCPD memorial page.
Photos by Germantown Pulse