National Night Out
A consistent beating of what sounded like a drum could be heard throughout downtown Tuesday evening. The rhythmic, gong-like sound pattern was not a musical instrument, but the sound of children striking a car with a sledgehammer.
Police appeared at the scene, but no charges were filed. In fact, the officers chaperoned the entire thing. The vandalism of an old car was one of the main attractions for children who turned out for National Night Out in Thomasville.
The annual event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, brought together a diverse group of members from the community, law enforcement officers and other public servants in hopes of raising awareness to prevent crime in the Chair City.
“One of the things you will notice throughout this event, you’re going to see an absolute mix of our demographic,” Thomasville city manager Kelly Craver said Tuesday. “You’re going to see every walk of life coming together, all the partners coming together – not just the people in law enforcement – all coming out to support the community.
“The great thing is that this is happening in so many communities all across the country.”
Thomasville Police Chief Jeff Insley wore a look of excitement, mingled with a bit of relief, as he walked around Main Street enjoying the sight of his staff interacting with Chair City residents of all ages. He said one of the focuses of his department is to facilitate better relationships with the city's younger population to proactively take measures to train the next generation to abstain from the violence which recently turned Thomasville on its ear.
“I think with everything that’s going on in the community, this is just another good refocus on community,” Insley said. “When you’ve got partners and all of these folks come together, good things can come from it. We just hope to keep that [momentum] rolling.”
The purpose for National Night Out is to allow residents to receive a glimpse of what local law enforcement agencies are doing to keep the community safe. Fun and games provided a family atmosphere that police hope will generate attention from all members of the community.
“This is the first time I’ve been to this. This is wonderful!” Sen. Stan Bingham said. “I didn’t have any idea Thomasville had this much turnout for the event. This is great.”
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.