The Waveland Police Department partnered with several other local agencies on Saturday to present its first-ever National Night Out event. Above: Waveland fire fighters exhibit the “Jaws of Life.”

The Waveland Police Department on Saturday hosted its first National Night Out and event organizers said that it was a "complete success."

The Waveland PD also partnered with the Bay St. Louis Police Department, the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, and Hancock Youth for Positive Efforts (HYPE) to host this year's National Night Out, which was held at St. Clare Catholic Church.

This is the first time the agencies collaborated on National Night Out.

Waveland Police Chief Mike Prendergast said that about 300 to 400 people attended Saturday's event.

Bay St. Louis Police Department's Community Liaison Ernest Taylor said it gave law enforcement officers and first responders the opportunity to "spread information to the county so the community knows the resources that are available to them."

"I was impressed with the crowd we drew in," Prendergast said. "They thanked me for doing it and hope we bring it back next year."

In addition to representatives from the Bay and Waveland police departments and sheriff's office, several other organizations had resources and staff on site during the event.

Those included: Bay St. Louis Fire Department, Waveland Fire Department, American Medical Response, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Life Flight Network, Mississippi Crimestoppers, CASA Hancock County, Ochsner Medical Center Hancock, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Escape Addiction, Boys and Girls Club, Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence, Families First, Mississippi Air Rescue, Hope Haven, Hancock Resource Center, MEMA, MDOT, Mississippi Highway Patrol, American Cancer Society, Mississippi AIDS Task Force, Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services, DMR Marine Patrol, and Someone's Child.

Cathy Pitalo –– the Drug Free Community Project Coordinator for the Hancock Resource Center –– said that the community enjoyed being out there on Saturday.

"The HYPE youth really worked hard to make the event fun for the children by helping with games and face painting," Pitalo said.

The Waveland Fire Department performed a demonstration of the Jaws of Life; guests toured trucks and emergency vehicles, including the Life Flight helicopter; and children also learned how to properly escape a building in the event of a fire with a walk through the smoke house on site.

Bay High School, Bay Middle School, and the Hancock Middle School dance and cheer teams performed. Bay High and Hancock's ROTC groups presented the colors.

Taylor also agreed that the event was a "huge success."

"I think that doing it on a Saturday gave more people an opportunity to come out and enjoy the festivities," he said.

Prendergast said he is looking forward to next year's event and "building a better relationship with our community."

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