Tonight, we hope police will see the good side as well.
Police departments in Laurinburg and Maxton will be holding National Night Out events beginning at 6 p.m.
The events, which are sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, are designed to increase crime prevention awareness and participation in anti-crime programs.
To do that communities all over the globe will put on citywide and neighborhood events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, festivals, visits from local officials and law enforcement, safety fairs, and youth events.
Last year’s event attracted more than 37 million people in 15,325 communities. National Night Out is expected to be even bigger this time around.
We hope that you will be among the 2012 National Night Out participants. The real goal of the event is to strengthen ties between police and the community. Police say when residents stand with them to fight crime and drugs, it sends a strong message to criminals.
Lt. Rodney Strickland of the Laurinburg Police Department told us last week that National Night Out is about “… getting people in the community to come out and stand together united – saying that we’re not going to take any more, we’re going to fight back against criminals in our neighborhoods.”
Laurinburg’s National Night Out will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Main Street between Church and Railroad streets. There is no charge to enter the event or for most of its attractions.
The event is designed to build support for localized anti-crime efforts as well as preventing crimes. Participants will be able to experience driving a golf cart while wearing Fatal Vision Goggles, which simulate the experience of driving while impaired. The “Seat Belt Convincer” will also be on site to simulate a car crash.
The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office will also be there to talk about child safety and keeping children out of gangs and away from drugs.
The Maxton Police Department will hold its own National Night Out event tonight at Beacham Park. That event will run from 6-9 p.m.
Maxton Rescue and Queheel Fire Department will also participate, with events including children’s train rides, face painting, water slides, bouncy houses, volleyball, and tug-of-war. The entire event, as well as food, will be free to the public.