URBANDALE, Iowa — National Night Out, in which police departments across the country hold community gatherings, is not until August 2. However, the Urbandale Police Department got into the spirit a few weeks early.

The police department hosted “Feed the Truck” at its headquarters Thursday evening. The event prominently featured municipal vehicles of all kinds, from police cruisers to a snowplow and an ambulance.

Beyond the trucks, the event also collected money and food donations for the Urbandale Food Pantry.

The police department believes the event, and others like it, help make Urbandale a safer and better city.

“It’s a good opportunity to hang out with kids and families, to let people know that we’re here to serve them and as part of our community,” said Urbandale Police Officer Holly Pickett. “We take stock in the fact that this is our community too. Even if we don’t live here when we go home at night, this is our community.”

The police department is also hosting a bike safety event next week at its headquarters. That event is planned for July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.