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National Night Out empowers residents against criminals

Posted: August 5, 2014 - 11:14pm  |  Updated: August 6, 2014 - 12:59am

 

Grovetown residents are invited to meet and join forces with those who protect their city at the city’s annual National Night Out celebration Friday.

Personnel from the Grovetown Department of Public Safety will hold a free block party and cookout from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Liberty Park Community Center on Newmantown Road.

“The biggest thing is that we’re trying to strengthen the bond with the community,” department Chief Gary Owens said. “Not only do we want the citizens to strengthen their bonds with us, we want them to see what we have to offer.”

Owens is asking residents to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights and come out to the family event that will feature information about all department programs like Project Safe House, Neighborhood Watch, House Watch programs and other anti-crime initiatives.

Officials will be taking children’s fingerprints as part of the Ident-A-Kid program and registering residents’ golf carts.

The “going-away party for drugs and crime” in the city also will include fire trucks and other rescue equipment, inflatables for the children, free hot dogs and hamburgers and vendors including local
businesses.

The goal of the event, normally held on school open house night, is to strengthen the bond between the community and the emergency responders who serve them.

“The police department and the community, we want them to be as one,” Owens said. “We want a partnership with you.

Our vision of community policing is the community are the police. We don’t want an individual to be afraid or not want to get involved.”

The national event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is aimed at crime awareness and prevention through information, networking and promoting neighborhood spirit and community policing
partnerships.

“One night is not the answer to crime prevention,’ Owens said. “It can open the door and we can kindle some spirit in the neighborhoods to make people feel safer.”

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office also wants to encourage residents to help protect themselves at a National Night Out event on Tuesday.

The event is geared toward the county’s Neighborhood Watch Associations, though any resident is welcome to attend, said sheriff’s Lt. Patricia Champion, who oversees the Community Services Division.

The event will be 7 to 9 p.m. at the Columbia County Government Center auditorium on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Sheriff’s office officials will give several short seminars on such topics as vehicle break-ins and burglaries, current firearms laws, traffic issues and a canine demonstration. Information will be available on sheriff’s office programs including Neighborhood Watch, House Watch, Citizens Firearms Class and the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.

The event is free, but preregistration is recommended.

For more information or to pre-register, call the Community Services Division at (706) 541-2856.

 

IF YOU GO

What: Grovetown Department of Public Safety’s National Night
Out

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday

Where: Liberty park Community Center, Newmantown Road, Grovetown

Cost: Free

 

What: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office National Night Out

When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Columbia County Government Complex, Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans

Cost: Free

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