August 7, 2012, KACE staff and interns took part in “National Night Out,” held in front of the Palisades Park Borough Hall on Broad Avenue. This event was to promote Korean Americans engagement in supporting their local police and fire department and town government. KACE is supporting these local authorities to encourage the Palisades Park Korean community to engage in and support its fire department which Korean American community should maintain a positive relationship to protect our lives and properties and get help in emergency. Since over the half of the Palisades Park population is Korean Americans, Korean Americans’ involvement in volunteer firefighter and the communitywide support to the fire station is important.
 
About a week before, KACE interns met with Fire Chief Michael Valente and toured the station. Mr. Valente hoped Korean Americans better understanding about the Fire Department.  According to Mr. Valente, the Palisades Park station currently needs 10 new sets of turnout gear, each costing about 2,500 dollars. 
 
KACE and Korean American Association of Palisades Park hope to fundraise money among Korean Americans to purchase and donate the turnout gear to Palisades Park fire department. On the “National Night Out” event, KACE interns were able to speak with many residents of Palisades Park and promote the importance of support and engagement with the local fire station. For the interns’ efforts, many participants of the event generously donated and KACE interns collected $105.65 within for half an hour. Anyone who hopes to participate in donating for Palisades Park Fire Department can donate on the online fundraising website that KACE created online until the end of this month. The website address is http://www.gofundme.com/z6v40. The collected donations will deliver the end of the month to Palisades Park Fire Department.
 
On the event, fundraising activity could not last long. KACE received the prior permission for fundraising from the Police Sergeant in charge of the event and Fire Chief, but the police officers did not listen and stopped the activity and even requested an identification card from a KACE staff member to report this incident. KACE interns, who are young Korean Americans and committed to serve the community and town, were discouraged by the police on the “National Night Out” day, an event in which the police outreach and get familiar with the community. 
 
Faced with the confrontation, KACE interns realized that Korean American community should participate more in their town government and be empowered so that the town government would not treat the Korean community this way again. To encourage the Palisades Park community to participate in the local fire station, KACE interns stopped fundraising but continued to hand out about 280 flyers both written in Korean and English to the event participants. 
 
KACE is planning to create and distribute a guide to Palisades Park Korean Americans for a better understanding about the local fire station system and fire and safety compliance. KACE will also continuously promote volunteer firefighter participation. For further information about volunteer firefighter, people can contact Palisades Park Fire Department at 201-585-4132 or KACE NJ Office at 201-488-4201.
 
Categories: News
KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
NEW YORK OFFICE: 163-10 NORTHERN BLVD. #307 FLUSHING, NY 11358 TEL: (718) 961-4117 FAX: (718) 961-4603
NEW JERSEY OFFICE: 185 BRIDGE PLAZA N SUITE 306 FORT LEE, NJ 07024 TEL: (201) 488-4201