By Alicia Lacy

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE – Overcast skies, wet roads and scattered showers didn't stop dozens of Cove residents from attending the 12th annual National Night Out Kick-Off Party Saturday.

Attendees danced in the streets. Children enjoyed three inflatable moon bounces, a slide and obstacle course, a car smash and a dunk-a-cop booth.

With volunteers setting up for the event early Saturday afternoon, the attendance picked up early on in the event.

"Though the weather was bad, we still got a decent crowd," Copperas Cove police Lt. Daniel Austin said. "The crowd is having fun and everyone is having a great time."

Melissa Adams of Copperas Cove brought her son Byron, 4, to the event for the first time.

David Gutierrez of Lampasas attended the block party with his family after hearing about the event from the Copperas Cove Citizens Police Academy.

Gutierrez said his children liked the rain and they were having a great time.

Though he has never participated in the National Night Out block parties, he said it is something he would like to get involved with.

Several groups in the city volunteered at the event selling popcorn and manning the inflatable moon bounces. Other communities in Texas hosted their Night Out events in August, but Copperas Cove opted to host it in October this year.

The block party kicks off the neighborhood block parties Tuesday.

With only two confirmed neighborhood block parties, Austin said he will accept applications for block parties until 5 p.m. Monday.

Neighborhood block parties will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday and end at 9 p.m.

Registered block parties will receive special appearances by McGruff the crime dog, Austin, Copperas Cove Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman and other police officers on duty.

The National Night Out is a community event designed for residents to know their neighbors, increase drug and crime prevention and build stronger relationships between police and the residents they serve.

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