DOBSON — A few afternoon showers didn’t deter a crowd of local residents from attending the town of Dobson’s National Night Out celebration Tuesday evening.
The National Night Out was the town’s second consecutive event, which is part of a nationwide night meant to foster relationships between members of the community and law enforcement personnel.
Dobson Police Chief Shawn Meyers said that’s exactly what the event in Dobson is supposed to do.
“It’s a good event to bring the general public together with police officers and emergency personnel, to give them an opportunity to speak to one another and establish a rapport,” said Myers in an interview prior to the event.
The event, which kicked off at 6 p.m. at Dobson Square Park and lasted about two hours, offered free hot dogs, chips and drinks to those who turned out for the gathering. The event also featured music and inflatables and games for children.
With volunteers from local churches, a Feeding the Hungry organization and town administration officials manning the grill, officers were free to mingle with those in attendance. Last year, officers grilled hot dogs for the crowd.
A rescue demonstration headlined Dobson’s National Night Out. Personnel from the Dobson Rescue Squad, the Dobson Volunteer Fire Department, Mountain Park Rescue Squad, Skull Camp Volunteer Fire Department and other first responders took part in an exercise in which the victims of a staged plane crash were extricated from the aircraft.
A victim was then taken to an adjacent field where one of Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center’s AirCare helicopters landed. After the exercise, children took the opportunity to interact with the crew and take pictures around the aircraft.
Town Manager Josh Smith said it was hard to gauge just how many people turned out at the event.
“It’s good to see this many people at this event supporting our public safety officials,” said Smith. “I’m glad the weather held out for us.”
Last year was the first National Night Out the town held in decades. About 1,500 people showed up to that event, according to Smith.
Smith said, given the community’s response throughout the course of the past two years, the event will continue to occur on an annual basis.
“We want this to become an annual thing,” explained Smith. “Every year we are going to try to incorporate some sort of demonstration that exposes the public to what our public safety personnel do on a daily basis.”
Myers was also pleased with Tuesday’s event.
“We are very appreciative for the community’s support,” said Myers. “This event gives our officers the opportunity to foster positive relationships with the community we serve.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.