Matthews and Mint Hill residents can join police for family-friendly events Tuesday, Aug. 7, to celebrate National Night Out.
The 29th annual nationwide free event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and encourages police to join with residents to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness and strengthen police-community partnerships. More than 14,625 communities nationwide will be participating this year.
In Matthews, several subdivisions are planning events featuring demonstrations by officers. Though the events aren’t open to the public, residents are encouraged to “lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Neighborhood events can include pot luck dinners, barbeques, pool parties or any other event that brings your community together,” Cpl. Lori Valdes said in a news release.
Residents are asked to turn on porch lights from 7 to 9 p.m., Valdes said.
“I feel National Night Out is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and learn how to help prevent crime.,” Valdes said. “It also helps strengthen the relationship between the communities and police officers.”
Mint Hill Police will host its third annual townwide National Night Out event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Park on Fairview, 8850 Fairview Road, with free food including Chick-fil-A sandwiches, Edy’s Ice Cream, hot dogs, snow cones and more. The event is free and open to the public.
Officers will provide demonstrations, crime prevention information and safety tips – including ID kits for kids — and there will be children’s games, including a dunking booth with Mint Hill officers inside. A representative from the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office and officers will be on hand to listen to any concerns that residents may have. The event is sponsored by Big Guy’s Pizza, Chick-fil-A, Sam’s Club of Matthews and Edy’s Ice Cream.
“It’s just a great chance to get out and interact with the community,” Lt. John Rowell said. “It lets residents know we are here and provides a place where they can feel relaxed to come express their concerns. We don’t want to just be reactive, we want to be proactive.”
Additional Mint Hill officers will be patrolling neighborhoods the evening of Aug. 7 in an attempt to meet neighborhood leaders and gather information that can be useful in responding to specific neighborhood concerns, he said.
For more information about Matthews events, call Cpl. Lori Valdes at 704-845-1651. For more information about the Mint Hill event, call Lt. Rowell at 704-545-1085.
Kara Lopp, email@example.com