Daleville holds National Night Out celebration
The Daleville Department of Public Safety joined 40 other cities in Alabama to celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
The event, held at Culpepper Park, featured demonstrations by the separate departments of Daleville Department of Public Safety, Fort Rucker Fire and Rescue Squad, Fort Rucker's Military Police Department, the Clayhatchee Volunteer Fire Department and the National Guard Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
The city first celebrated National Night Out in 2013.
Capt. Ryan Phillips said the event allowed citizens to speak with their first responders and law enforcement officers.
"(This event is meant) to bring the community out, have them interact with the first responders, let them see the equipment we have and ask questions," he said.
Other groups that attended the event were Girl Scouts, Wiregrass Angel House, The Well and SpectraCare.
According to National Night Out's website, the event is held to help enhance relations between community members and law enforcement.
"National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," the website said. "National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances."
National Night Out is celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, the website said. It began in 1984 by Matt Peskin, founded the National Association of Town Watch, which provided community watch groups with the tools necessary to work in the community.
"The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states," the website states. "However, the event soon grew to a celebration beyond just front porch vigils.
"Neighborhoods across the nation began to host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more. Today, 38 million neighbors in 16 thousand communities across the nation take part in National Night Out."
Daleville Police Chief William "Willy" Powell said he hopes the event will do what is what created to do: bring the community, law enforcement and first responders closer together.
"(This should promote) more communication between the public and the Department of Public Safety," he said. "We have it now, but we need it more."
He also said the event, which shows citizens how the departments work, is also a way to "show appreciation" to the public.