LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg Police Department is gearing up with other local emergency personnel to create an evening of entertainment and fun for the community.
Going on its 35th year, National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships. The block-style gathering is on Tuesday and is free of charge for anyone who wishes to attend.
The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old Pope’s Building parking lot on the corner of Atkinson and West Cronly streets. There will be similar activities to years past, including a bounce house, tattoos and face-painting. More educational activities like the fatal vision course, which will have the participant wearing drunk goggles and driving a golf cart, and the safety house, which will have a seat belt convincer that simulates low impact vehicle collisions. Information booths, like one for 911, will be at the event as well to give more information to residents.
The Scotland High School varsity football team will also have a meet and greet at the event.
Those in attendance can also participate in a 50/50 drawing and a chance for door prizes. Food vendors will include Zaxby’s, Northview Harvest Ministries, Lighthouse Ministry, and Crosspointe Ministry, who will have water bottles. All vendors will be providing the food free of charge.
Emergency personnel will have representatives from the Laurinburg Fire Department, Scotland County Probation and Parole, North Carolina Wildlife, EMS, Highway Patrol, and the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.
The Tuesday Cruisers will also be there to “cruise in and drive out crime.”
“It’s a great opportunity to get us back out in the community and show them we’re people behind the badge,” said Sgt. Justin Jones, who volunteered to help plan the event.
Jones said he volunteered to help because he enjoys being involved in the community and the event helps benefit residents. While attendance varies year to year Jones is hoping for several hundred people to come out.
“The more people who come out the more you’re able to spread the word about safety,” Jones said. “It’s also great because people get to know the first responders in the community.”
In previous years the event had been praised for providing an event for both youth and adults something to do while also keeping the youth from getting into things they shouldn’t.
National Night Out began in 1984 as an effort to promote community involvement in crime prevention. Neighborhoods across the country celebrate with block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts, and more to give safety demonstrations and seminars to the community. Today more than 38.3 million people in 16,728 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world, according to the organization.
For more information, Jones can be contacted at the Laurinburg Police Department at 910-276-3211.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]