PILOT MOUNTAIN — Area residents are invited to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and head to downtown Pilot Mountain from 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 2, joining with neighbors and police, fire and rescue personnel for a night of food, fun and fellowship.
The Pilot Mountain Police Department will serve as local host for the annual event, dubbed the 2016 National Night Out.
Other participating agencies will include the Mount Airy Police Department, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, Surry County 911 Communications, the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad, the Pilot Knob Fire Department, Surry County Animal Control and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Activities will take place in the town hall parking lot, off Main Street and will include games for youngsters and adults. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served on a first-come-first-served basis.
“This is an opportunity for the public to come out and spend time with their first responders,” explained Pilot Mountain Police Chief Darryl Bottoms. “It’s a chance for residents to get to see their equipment and get to know them, all in an enjoyable environment.”
According to Chief Bottoms, the department has hosted the annual event locally since 2007. The night is a part of a nationwide effort which has been going on for more than 30 years.
The National Night Out, billed as “America’s night out against crime,” is sponsored annually by the National Association of Town Watch. The organization describes the event as “an annual community building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.”
According to the organization, participants join each year from communities in all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
This year’s event comes at a time when violence has resulted in the death of police officers at multiple locations across the nation. That only adds, Chief Bottoms noted, to the importance of such efforts as National Night Out.
“This comes at a critical time,” he said. “This is a time when we need to all come together and be one, to show that we have each other’s support. This gives people a chance to show the criminals that we’re taking a stand together.”