Despite the rainfall that occurred earlier in the day, the National Night Out event hosted by the Pilot Mountain Police Department went down without a hitch Tuesday evening.
“I log it as a success considering the storms that came through earlier in the day,” Chief of Police Daryl Bottoms said. “The crowd that came out was the typical size we normally have, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”
The event lasted from 6 to 8 p.m. and featured free food and games, encouraging the community to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and engage with the various agencies at the event.
“It’s to help give back to the community, to show people that we aren’t as bad as they might think we are,” Mike Horn, part-time officer at the Pilot Mountain Police Department, said of the event.
All of the food that was served at the event was donated by the Pilot Mountain Women’s Club, Just Save, Carolina West, Nation Wide, Cousin Gary’s and Aunt Bea’s.
One of the activities that the event featured was a peddle car obstacle course in which kids could wear goggles that simulated the effects of intoxication.
One of the most popular activities at the event was the “Dunk a Cop,” dunk tank, in which kids took free turns at throwing balls in the hopes of hitting the bulleye which would send a member of the Pilot Mountain Police Department into the water.
The following agencies participated in the event, Mount Airy Police Department, Dobson Police Department, Surry County Sherriff’s Office, Alcohol Law Enforcement, Surry County 911 Communications, Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad, Pilot Knob Fire Department, Surry County Animal Control and North Carolina Wildlife.
“All of the agencies set up tents and it allowed them to show people what they actually do,” Horn said. “All of us look forward to being out here with everyone, it’s a different setting than what we’re used to.”
As for the rain, Horn said that the police department was starting to “sweat” due to the fact that it rained up until the start of the event, but said that everyone was relieved that the precipitation subsided. Horn added that there was rain at last year’s National Night Out event.
Two officers were on duty during the course of the event.
Horn explained that the Dobson Police Department started its own National Night Out event two years ago, which he said has pulled a small degree of participants from the Pilot Mountain event, but added that in his opinion the Dobson verion is a good thing so that people can attend the event in their own community.
“We come out as a tool to educate fire safety, we also use it as a tool to recruit volunteers,” Jonathan McComb, assistant fire chief of the Pilot Knob Fire Department, said of the event.
Corporal Stacy Inman, of the Community Services Division at the Mount Airy Police Department, said that this year was the first time that the Mount Airy Police Department has attended the Pilot Mountain event. Inman said that the Mount Airy Police Department looks to participate in National Night Out events that are pre-existing considering the fact that Mount Airy doesn’t have an event of its own.
“They seem to like it and we provide information about driving impaired and while texting,” Inman said of the peddle car activity.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.