National Night Out Is Aug. 2

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, June 9, 2011

FARMVILLE – McGruff the crime dog wasn't barking up the wrong tree last year and he won't be going out on a limb as he looks for back-to-back successes for National Night Out.

Police Chief Doug Mooney's last instructions to police officers during a final briefing prior to the 2010 event was to “go out and have fun.”

That's just what they did and fun is this year's goal too.

Hundreds of residents turned out for last year's inaugural National Night Out Event and Farmville police are expecting similar results on August 2 when McGruff will again brave the heat, visiting neighborhoods along with members of the police department.

The 28-year old National Night Out's goal is to increase crime and drug-prevention awareness, nurture and strengthen partnerships between police and residents, and create support for anti-crime programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Crime Solvers, and Business Watch.

Farmville's first-ever participation in the nation-wide event scored successes in each and every goal as 13 block parties in neighborhoods across town brought citizens and police together, creating bonds that produced long-term crime-fighting results.

Police Chief Doug Mooney pointed out in a Wednesday press release that in addition to town residents “we are encouraging businesses to take part in this year's activities. Even though employees may not reside in town, they still have an interest in crime prevention as they spend a good portion of their time here.”

Chief Mooney noted the “incredible success” of last year's local edition of National Night Out, observing that it produced new Neighborhood Watch programs and the dividends keep coming.

During Town Council's regular June meeting Wednesday night, Chief Mooney pointed out the most recent evidence, saying, “We had two nice Neighborhood Watch meetings. One was at Parkview Gardens in May and then we had on High Street last Saturday.”

As for this year's National Night Out, the police chief told council members, “We have four neighborhoods right now that have signed up (for block parties) and more are on the way. So we're hoping for a big turnout.”

And Farmville police are sharing the National Night Out gospel.

“We're also assisting the Town of Crewe to get something up and running there,” Chief Mooney said, “so it looks like it's spreading into the area.”

Anyone interested in helping set up a block party in their neighborhood for National Night Out can contact the police department at 392-9259.

Those wishing to host a block party are asked to contact the police department by June 30.

Meanwhile, anyone interested in a Neighborhood Watch Program starting up in their neighborhood can call Detective C. W. Moss at 392-2109.

In other police department news, Chief Mooney told council members Wednesday night that the department held a two-day blood drive for the American Red Cross last month and 70 people were able to donate blood.

Also, as a result of a retirement there will be some upcoming promotions-Bobby Ragland will be a Sergeant and T. J. Long will be a Corporal.

Other Items

In other business from Wednesday night's meeting:

It was announced that the Town is applying for acceptance into Virginia's Main Street Program (details to follow).

Town Council will meet next Thursday at 6 p.m. to adopt the 2011-12 budget. A public hearing Wednesday saw two speakers urge the town not to increase the real estate tax and exclusively target the meals tax, instead, because it is fairer to town residents. The Town proposes to increase the meals tax by half a percent, from 6.5 to 7 percent, and raise the real estate tax by two cents per hundred dollars of assessed value, from 10 cents to 12 cents.

Awards were given out to winners in the Town's tree photo contest.

The Town voted to give its blessing to Farmville's involvement in a 100-mile yard sale on July 2, that will see yard sales held on the day from Amelia to Keysville and Farmville and Burkeville.

Bids for the Milnwood Road widening project should be opened on July 28.