The Pilot Mountain Police Department soon will be observing a popular local event, and the entire community is invited to join in.
The 2018 National Night Out is slated for Aug. 7, and surrounding communities are invited to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and join with neighbors as well as police, fire and rescue personnel from 6-8 p.m. in downtown Pilot Mountain.
Other participating agencies will include the Mount Airy Police Department, the Elkin Police Department, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, Surry County Communications, the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department.
Booths and activities will be set up in the Town Hall and Pilot Mountain Police Department parking lot, located alongside Main Street.
Those attending will be treated to an assortment of games and activities for all ages. Agency personnel will be on hand along with information and other items to meet and greet residents. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served on a first come-first served basis.
Activities will include a dunking booth provided by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office and manned by the Pilot Mountain Police Department.
Attendees will have the opportunity, under the supervision of the Mount Airy Police Department, to navigate a course laid out with traffic cones in a pedal “car.” Participants will also have the option of wearing goggles designed to simulate the effect of driving while impaired, giving youths the opportunity to have fun while learning about the dangers of impaired driving.
“This is a community relations event that gives our residents a chance to get to know their local police department and surrounding agencies,” said Pilot Mountain Police Captain Robbie Jackson.
Local sponsors of the evening include Food Lion, Carolina West, Aunt Bea’s Barbecue, Cousin Gary’s Restaurant, Hardee’s, Nationwide Insurance and Red Stripe Convenience Store.
According to Pilot Mountain Police Chief Darryl Bottoms, the department has hosted the annual event locally since 2007.
“Chief Bottoms wants the community to be familiar with the officers who serve our town,” Jackson said. “We want them to feel comfortable approaching an officer anytime we’re needed.”
The night is a part of a nationwide effort which has been taking place for more than 30 years.
The National Night Out, billed as “America’s night out against crime,” is sponsored annually by the National Association of Town Watch. The organization describes the event as “an annual community building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.”
According to the organization, participants join each year from communities in all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
“This is something that the community enjoys,” Jackson noted. “And it provides a more relaxed atmosphere for officers to interact with the public.”
“We want to invite everyone to come out and enjoy themselves,” he continued. “We’re looking forward to a good time for everyone.”