The event has been celebrated throughout the U.S. for 27 years and observed in Rockmart for the past four. The City of Rockmart Police Department and Northwest Georgia Housing Authority host it.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnership.
A number of agencies are involved in the planning to make the night one that not only draws attention to the prevention of crime in local neighborhoods but also provides family fun activities for local children.
Planning Committee members are Molly Majestic, NWGHA, Curtis Vincent, Redmond EMS, David Gowens, RPD and Keith Sorrells, RPD, Craig Taylor and Stacey Smith, City of Rockmart, Lisa Williams and Necie Harfield, NWGHA, Marty Robinson, Redmond EMS, Andy Fairel, Floyd EMS, Bill Vasser, NWGHA, Angela Allen, Walmart, and Randall Chupp, Rockmart Fire Department.
“This night will provide an excellent opportunity for children to mingle not only law enforcement officers but also other safety personnel, including firefighters,” Police Chief Keith Sorrells said. “Younger kids are often afraid of the people designated to protect them.”
Stacey Smith, event planner, said committee members are aware of the slow economy and encourage parents to bring their children so they can have fun and participate in educational activities.
“There is no age limit, and everyone is welcome to attend,” she said. “There will be something for the entire family. This includes free hot dogs and drinks.”
Rockmart Mayor Curtis Lewis will launch the program with welcoming remarks and read a proclamation he signed declaring the day as National Night Out.
The Atlanta Skydiving Club will continue the tradition of kicking off the activities with a demonstration at 6 p.m.
The State of Georgia Special Weapons and Tactics Team has been invited and Sorrells said this team is a functional organization providing weapon and tactical expertise not normally available to law enforcement agencies. Their expertise is utilized in the resolution of critical incidents in an effort to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers and suspects.
The Cedartown Police Department is scheduled to bring their K-9 unit and Polk County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies have been invited to take part.
Deputy Chief Randall Chupp, Rockmart Fire Department, said local firefighters would be present to provide an obstacle course challenge. They will also have several vehicles on display for the children to view.
An invitation has been extended to the Cedartown Fire Department to participate. Hopes are they will have the fire safety house available. The structure is built to teach home fire safety to children.
Redmond EMS will provide information and give out glow bracelets. Floyd EMS will have cotton candy available and teach bike safety.
In addition to the hot dogs, the Rockmart Kiwanis Club will provide popcorn and Jumping Jack Inflatables will provide fun activities for the children.
A number of service organizations, including Aids Alliance, are scheduled to be on site and give out educational material to the public.
Live entertainment will be presented by Southern Thunder and a free movie, “Cloudy With Chance of Meatballs” will be shown.
“Many people bring chairs and sit to watch the movie or listen to the music,” Smith said. “We encourage the entire family to attend. There is no admission charge. Everything is free.”