People, police come together for fellowship on National Night Out
Published 11:58 am Thursday, August 4, 2016
In Western Tidewater, National Night Out on Tuesday drew people together for fun, fellowship and, of course, food. Connecting civilians with law enforcement and other first responders to build relationships is a large part of the annual event’s purpose, and that was considered a success locally.
Capt. Tim Whitt with the Franklin Police Department said, “It was a wonderful event. Frank Davis and the members of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch Group were very gracious, the food was excellent, the friendship was excellent and their support and appreciation for us was very heartfelt and genuine.
“It was the biggest turn out that I can remember; it was very nice to share time and speak with so many wonderful people. We had a good representation with two patrol squads attending as well as the chief, Sgt. Halverson (our liaison with the neighborhood watch groups), detectives and myself. Members of Franklin Fire and Rescue were in attendance as well.”
The department spokesman continued, “The police and citizen partnership is so instrumental to our success in how we are able to provide service to the community and to have such outstanding support from so many truly wonderful people within our city makes us proud to be officers in Franklin. This didn’t occur over night, we have worked hard to gain the trust of our citizens and now we enjoy having this established partnership as a result of our efforts.”
In Windsor, thunderstorms previous to the event made the intended site too soggy to be used. Thankfully, the new Town Center was available. This gave shelter for residents, a few vendors, the inflatable bounce house and even a couple of basketball hoops, which police and children used together.
“I think it went pretty well considering the weather,” said Windsor Police Chief R.D. Riddle. “Every year we’ve had growth. There were more people this year. My guess is 100.”
He added with a chuckle that the figure is based on the number of hot dogs that were eaten.
“It’s important for the community to realized we’re people, too. Almost all of us have kids, and we understand parents’ concerns,” Riddle said.
He added that being able to interact with adults and children on a personal level is also meaningful.
The chief said that one of the advantages of being in a small town is that he and the officers get to know a lot of members of the community.
“There are opportunities … and we work hard to get to build relationships,” he said.