City of Huntsville to hold National Night Out October 1

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HUNSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY The City of Huntsville’s National Night Out event will be held on Tuesday, October 1, and the Huntsville Police Department wishes to encourage all residents to come out and enjoy this free, family-friendly event.

National Night Out - an annual event involving citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses and neighborhood organizations - is a chance for citizens to interact with local law enforcement in an effort to heighten crime prevention and awareness, as well as strengthen neighborhood spirit.

The event will include participants from the Huntsville Police Department, Huntsville Fire Department, Huntsville City Council, Sam Houston State University Police Department, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Forest Service, Office of the Inspector General, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Public Safety and other first responders.

“National Night Out is a great opportunity for the residents and families of Huntsville to interact with local law enforcement, learn more about protecting their neighborhoods, and enjoy free food and entertainment,” said HPD Community Service Officer Kenneth Posey. “This year, we will have new and exciting features at the event, including an appearance from McGruff the Crime Dog, several emergency vehicles, and trading cards of officers that will be handed out to children along with other giveaways.

“We’re honored to be a part of organizing this event, and we encourage all Huntsville citizens to participate.”

A portion of the event will be held October 1 in the Target parking lot from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This will provide an opportunity for citizens to interact with emergency personnel from the various first responder agencies in Walker County.

After the event at Target, parades or caravans will depart from the Target parking lot and travel to local Neighborhood Watch parties where they will stop, allowing residents and first responders to visit and become more acquainted.

“This event is important to the residents of the City of Huntsville because it allows them to get to know the first responders in their area, become familiar with emergency services personnel and equipment, and voice any concerns they may have about their area,” HPD Officer Joey Murray said. “There will be informational materials available from each department, and citizens are encouraged to ask questions and learn more about the law enforcement agencies that serve them.”

According to Officer Posey, National Night Out is a perfect opportunity to meet citizens in your area and discuss ways to enhance residential safety.

“In the City of Huntsville, we have been working to strengthen and reinforce our existing neighborhood watch programs, and we are actively looking for volunteers to create new groups in neighborhoods that do not already have a neighborhood watch program established,” he said. “In the next year, we would like to improve these programs both with increased participation and communications between the police department and neighborhood watch leaders.”

Food and refreshments, including hot dogs and hamburgers donated by Kroger, will be available in the Target parking lot. There will be several other volunteers involved and supporting the event, including Double Dave’s Pizza works, Farmhouse Café, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Potato Shack, Smoothie King, Dickeys Barbeque, Bandera Grill, Mama Juanita’s Mexican Restaurant and Iron Works Health Club. The event will also have moon-walks donated by Amazing McClain’s.

“We at the Huntsville Police Department look forward to this event each year - it’s an opportunity for our officers to meet the citizens of the community in a less formal environment,” said Kevin Lunsford, Chief of the Huntsville Police Department. “The event has grown each of the past several years, and we hope to continue that growth and improve upon the great cooperation we enjoy with the citizens of our community.”

Last year's collective National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,704 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. Overall, over 37.5 million people participated in National Night Out 2012. National Night Out 2013 is expected to be the largest ever in its 30th Anniversary.
The Huntsville City Council meeting scheduled for October 1 will be held at 5 p.m. to allow citizens to attend both events.

For more information on the National Night Out event, contact the Huntsville Police Department at (936) 291-5480.