PILOT MOUNTAIN — Local residents are invited to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and slip downtown the evening of Aug. 7 for a night of food, fun and fellowship with area police, fire and rescue personnel.
For the fifth consecutive year the Pilot Mountain Police Department will serve as local host for the 2012 National Night Out. Other participating agencies include the Mount Airy Police Department, the Dobson Police Department, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) Division, Surry County 911 Communications, the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department.
The gathering will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sandwich Shop, known locally as “The Squeeze Box.” The downtown diner is on the corner of Main and Davis streets. Shop owner Dickie Crump will be on hand, helping to serve free hot dogs and drinks throughout the evening.
“Dickie Crump is a big part of this,” Sgt. R.D. Bingman of the Pilot Mountain Police Department noted. “Without him it wouldn’t be possible.”
This event is not limited to Pilot Mountain residents. Everyone is invited.
Participating agencies also are expected to provide a variety of games and activities for all ages including a “DWI car” designed to simulate the experience of driving while impaired, fingerprint identification kits and other activities.
One of the big draws for the event is the dunking booth. Last year, Sheriff Graham Atkinson took the plunge repeatedly. This year officers with the Pilot Mountain Police Department including Bingman, Chief Darryl Bottoms and Officer Jason Crissman will be taking one for the team. Mount Airy News Reporter Mondee Tilley also will be in the dunking booth this year.
“This is a night when police officers get to invite citizens to come out and enjoy the evening with us,” said Bingman. “Everyone gets a chance to mingle and meet and enjoy themselves. This gives law enforcement agencies an opportunity to meet the public and show their new equipment as everybody gets to enjoy the night. This helps people, including our kids, become comfortable with us. It helps us let people know that it’s safe to come out.”
Bingman said this is a national event that gets people out to join hands with fire, rescue and police.
“We want people to lock their doors, turn their porch lights on and come out to have a good time. People get a chance to know the officers and it’s a fun night for everyone to be out,” said Bingman.
Nationally, this is the 29th annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. According to the association, last year’s National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
Bingman said anyone who would like to donate any gifts as prizes for kids and adults in attendance at the event can call him at 368-2247 to let him know what they can donate.
“Last year, we had a good crowd,” Bingman said. “And we’re hoping for another good turnout this time.”
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.