Activities galore, Daleville expecting successful National Night Out

BY Jan Murray

Activities galore, Daleville expecting successful National Night Out
Two days before school starts Daleville will hold its 4thAnnual National Night Out event on Aug. 2 at Culpepper Park. Hundreds are expected to attend.NNO, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, will involve over 16,728 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all over 38.3 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”“We share our evening of police-community partnership with Fort Rucker and they are involved in our planning,” said Director of Public Safety Harvey Mathis. He gives credit to current Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth for starting the special night.“The idea of National Night Out was the idea of Mayor Wigglesworth. She first had the idea as a council member, but the project was never attempted. When I became chief, she asked me to plan a National Night Out. I didn’t know what it was but put together an event for August 2013. We learned a lot from our first event, and have grown in size, and made matters work in a more smooth way,” said Mathis.The Daleville event will be held the first Tuesday in August in unison with cities and communities throughout the country and around the world will be holding their NNO celebrations, the chief said. “The whole police department participates and we have 22 other volunteers that assist in the activities. We also recruit volunteers to climb inside the dunking booth,” explained Mathis. “We need volunteers to watch over children on the inflatable slides, to assist in handing out freeze pops, to assist in parking and keeping the liquid refreshment cooled down.”The evening of activities will last a full four hours and the chief expects to have two shifts of workers during that time.“The first year we had about two hundred attendees and last year about four-hundred. We expect even more this year,” Mathis said. “This is an event to mingle with not just Daleville officers, but military law enforcement and officers from around the community. We want to solidify our police-community partnership and re-establish that we all have a common goal and that is to live in an environment where we are all safe in our home and community and that once crime does occur, we can work together to resolve it.”Citizens and law enforcement from Daleville and all surrounding communities are invited to participate in NNO. The event times are from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Everything, except for concessions is free.“There will be displays from the Alabama State troopers, the National Guard, law enforcement units from the area, fire and rescue units…There will be wet and dry inflatables and if you just want to get wet and cool down bring a towel and we will supply the water. We will also be supplying free bottled water, flavored drinks and freeze pops to all those who attend,” explained Mathis.NNO is designed, Mathis said,  “to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for and participation in local anticrime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals, letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
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