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Community events to include Worthington Police Department

WORTHINGTON — Officers and deputies of the Worthington Police Department will be out in the community on Tuesday, but not for the usual reasons. The department will participate in two events — Night to Unite and Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive.

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Night to Unite, formerly known as National Night Out, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Pioneer Village. A meal will be provided, and the event will give the community an opportunity to meet with local police officers and deputies to discuss any concerns or questions they may have.

“It’s an opportunity for the police department and the community to get together and meet and go over causes or concerns that anyone has about public safety in town,” explained Sergeant Brett Wiltrout.

The police department will once again bring the K-9 units to Night to Unite to give a 10- to 15-minute demonstration. Afterward, the public will be able to pet the dogs and ask questions.

Demonstrations will include the team’s newest dog as well as Laika, the dog that has been with the Worthington Police Department the longest and will be retired this year.

“It’s going to be a neat thing because we’ll have the most recent addition and our longest- running K-9,” Director of Public Safety Mike Cumiskey said. “This will be her last Night to Unite and her last year of service.”

Cumiskey added that he expects the K-9 demonstrations to include search and bite work. They will also serve to raise awareness about the need to replace Laika with a new K-9, as the WPD will soon be seeking funding for another dog and will welcome any donations.

The evening will include a meal provided by the WPD and through partnership with area businesses. The menu will include hamburger patties donated and cooked by the Nobles County Cattlemen’s Association, cheese donated by the Nobles County Dairy Association and chips, pop and water donated by Walmart, Fareway and Hy-Vee. The WPD will help serve the food.

The Worthington Fire Department and ambulance will also be at Pioneer Village for the event, and Southwest Crisis Center will be doing face painting.

“I think it’s a very helpful event,” Cumiskey said. “People can ask anything of us, and we can give the answer. They also can report a problem or thank us for something. It’s good.

It’s not just us imparting information, but we also get information, too.”

Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive

From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, the WPD, Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and Worthington Fire and Rescue will participate in a blood drive at Sanford Worthington Medical Center.

The event will be a friendly competition between the departments. The public is encouraged to donate blood on Tuesday and designate their donation to the department of their choice. The department credited with the most donations will win a trophy to display for a year, and all donors will also receive a free Subway meal and a T-shirt.

“I think the blood drive increases the awareness for the public to see that there is the friendly competition between us,” Cumiskey said. “In the process, it does a good thing for the community. Besides raising awareness for the need for blood donations, we’re getting donations in that will be used in the area.”

The blood bank’s supply is often challenged in the summer months, which see an increase in traumas and a 25 percent decrease in donations.

“The success of this blood drive will ensure that blood is available for patients of Sanford Worthington,” Ken Versteeg, executive director of the Community Blood Bank, said in a press release. “We truly need people to donate blood at this blood drive to help keep the blood supply at adequate levels to be used for trauma, surgery, burn and cancer patients. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Worthington area patients and encourage the community to help us by donating at the bloodmobile when it visits Worthington.”

Cumiskey also encouraged community members to participate in the blood drive on Tuesday.

“I’ve done it every year,” he said. “I plan to donate again on Tuesday.”

Alyson Buschena
Alyson joined the Daily Globe newsroom staff after spending a year in Latin America. A native of Fulda and graduate of the University of Northwestern, she has a bachelor's degree in English with a dual concentration in Literature and Writing and a minor in Spanish. At the Daily Globe, Alyson covers the crime beat as well as Pipestone and Murray counties, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. More of Alyson's writing can be found at
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