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Last official Night Out for Pleasant Hills officials

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sirens will blast in Pleasant Hills while police Chief Ed Cunningham and Mayor Warren Bourgeois ride in their last National Night Out on July 30.

The 20th annual event is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m., starting at Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church on Old Clairton Road.

“There will be a certain amount of nostalgia,” Bourgeois said, after 16 years as mayor. He has decided not to seek re-election.

“It's been a lot of fun,” Bourgeois said. “It's been interesting, but it's the old saying, ‘quit while you are ahead.' Pleasant Hills is a great place to be mayor. The people are nice and cooperative.”

The procession will consist of about 125 units, including Pleasant Hills police, the volunteer fire company and local emergency medical services.

A party will be held for participants after the parade at the American Legion Post 712 along Old Clairton Road.

The community hosts its event a week before the nationally observed event, planned for Aug. 6 this year, to allow agencies in surrounding areas to participate, said Cunningham, who has served in the police department for 37 years.

He will retire in December. A new chief has yet not been selected.

“I'm going to miss a lot of what goes on,” Cunningham said, “mostly the people that we interact with.”

The National Association of Town Watch in Wynnewood, near Philadelphia, founded National Night Out in 1984 to promote crime prevention and police-community relationships.

“It gives our officers the chance to meet with the residents,” Cunningham said. “It shows them there is actually a person behind the badge that actually cares about them.”

Residents are encouraged to turn on their lights and host block parties during the parade. They can register parties with the police department and request a visit, Cunningham said.

About 25 parties have been registered for this year. Residents can register for a visit by calling the police department at 412-655-5045.

During the visits, residents can voice concerns, meet the officers and bond with their neighbors Cunningham said.

“The biggest thing to me is the response from the residents,” Bourgeois said. “They have flags and thank-you signs.”

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or bgoncar@tribweb.com.

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