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KPD Block Party: A time to meet, greet and eat

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Playing a role in ending a multi-county high-speed chase. Answering the call more than 100 times in the past month. Trying to improve their skills on a regular basis.

Those are just three of many reasons why Knightstown officials appreciate members of their police department. On Saturday, Aug. 3, everyone is invited to the  Community Law Enforcement Block Party to celebrate, meet and greet the officers who serve and protect Knightstown.

Academy Place, located at 340 N. Adams St., will host the event, which seems to get bigger by the day.

“The block party has kind of exploded,” KPD Chief Chris Newkirk told Knightstown Town Council members last week. “We now have a petting zoo and pony rides planned in addition to a hog roast and live music.”

The event – sponsored by Hoosier Feeder Company and CFH Enterprises – will be held on the Academy Place lawn from 5 to 10 p.m.

Kevin Richey, community outreach coordinator of Academy Place, said personalities to attend the event include musician Waylon T and Indianapolis radio station WIBC personality Terri Stacy, who is from Knightstown. Face painting, balloon artists, magicians and a bounce house obstacle course will entertain children.

The event, designed to bring the general public closer with their local law enforcement officers, is free and offers fun for the whole family.

In fact, the first 300 kids will receive a free backpack full of school supplies.

In addition to Knightstown Police Department officers, members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police will also be present – appropriate given the “team” atmosphere of the venue, held in the shadow of neighboring Hoosier Gym, where scenes from the iconic movie “Hoosiers” was filmed.

“The Hoosier Gym served as this school’s gymnasium from 1921 to 1966,” Richey said. “The Academy’s unique and glorious Second Empire architecture is a site to behold. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.”

Town Council officials agreed at their latest meeting the law enforcement effort here is very worthy of celebration. They learned in the past month, Knightstown officers have answered 114 calls for service, made 13 arrests, issued 32 traffic citations and participated in a 16-hour police combatants class.

One recent incident discussed at last week’s town council meeting illustrated the value and skill level of the Knightstown force.

Newkirk discussed Knightstown’s role in a multi-county vehicle pursuit where the fleeing motorist reportedly reached speeds of 110 miles mph. It was Newkirk who executed what is called a “PIT” maneuver, a pursuit intervention technique, hitting the fleeing vehicle in the back bumper area and sending it into a spin, ending the chase on a county road.

Newkirk also reported that in the past month:

• KPD answered 114 calls for service;

• Officers made 13 arrests;

• 32 traffic citations were issued; and

• New reserves were brought onto the force.