ROCKINGHAM — Residents and law enforcement haven’t seen eye to eye across the United States recently, but next Tuesday will be an opportunity for both to come together, have a little fun and meet the youths who could be Richmond County’s future first responders.
National Night Out has been going on for more than 30 years, and Rockingham has seen it taking place within its city limits for more than a decade.
“The purpose is to bring the community and the police force together,” said City of Rockingham Events Coordinator Kim Williams. “To strengthen the police and community relations and encourage people to feel comfortable with the police officers. They’re there to help, and they’re not the bad guys.”
Rockingham Police Department’s Junior Police Academy, which took place in June, will graduate its cadets during the festivities. The cadets participated in a four-day session at the RPD and learned new skills, as well as spent time with officers and representatives from county and state agencies who educated them on the many facets of law enforcement and prosecution, according to a press release from Williams.
From 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, the parking lots of city hall and the Thomas Leath Memorial Library on Rockingham Road will be filled with multiple attractions and activities for the public.
Scheduled for the evening will be finger painting for children, a dunking booth with various Rockingham officers, the DWI driving course, food vendors, Twisted Treats Ice Cream, face painting, rockwall, bounce house, slides, obstacle course and sports challenge.
There will also be Richmond County Crime Stoppers representatives on hand, as well as the crash test dummies and the RPD’s traffic team distributing information in conjunction with the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety program.
Local band Hydrenaline will take the stage for the third year in a row, providing entertainment for the crowd.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.