National Night Out

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, July 24, 2014

FARMVILLE — The Farmville Police Department is looking for you.

No, don’t panic.

They don’t want to arrest you.

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Although they do want to arrest your attention.

The police are simply looking for neighborhoods and residents who wish to participate in the annual National Night Out, this year on Tuesday, August 5, by hosting a block party.

The department has developed a national reputation and ranking for its partnership success with the community, earning 21st place among localities with a population of 15,000 or less for last year’s National Night Out celebration.

Which means the community has also earned that reputation and ranking because the department doesn’t partner alone.

It takes a town to tango.

And Farmville has tangoed to a resonant beat during the event held coast-to-coast to heighten crime and drug-prevention awareness, develop and strengthen partnerships between police and residents, and generate support for anti-crime programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Crime Solvers and Business Watch.

Eleven block parties were held last year and the police department is reaching out to resident who may want to do so this year. Contact the department at 392-9259 to learn more or schedule an event. And give Detective Sergeant C. W. Moss a ring at 392-2109 if you want to establish a Neighborhood Watch program in your corner of Farmville.

McGruff, the crime dog, will join the department’s officers by visiting the block parties across town on August 5, strengthening the relationship between police and the community they protect.

Farmville first participated in National Night Out in 2010 and took to it like wrapping paper to duct tape.

Detective Sergeant Moss, who was integral to the National Night Out lift-off in Farmville for the past five years, doesn’t want anyone to feel intimidated at the prospect of hosting a block party.

“It doesn’t have to be anything huge,” he’s told those who haven’t participated before and wonder what needs to be done. “Once again…a small cook-out or something…or light refreshments; that right there means a lot to us and we’ll definitely get by and see them.”

That’s the point: police officers and the community members they protect get to meet and speak in an easy, relaxed atmosphere. Those relationships can help effective crime prevention.

“A lot times, and I’ve said this in the past, the folks, they may not call down here (to the police department) if they have a question, unless it’s something serious, but when they see you there,” he has said of the National Night Out neighborhood events, “they’ll come over to you and say, ‘Hey, can you tell me this? Can you tell me that?’ Or either they’ll just come over to you and tell you, ‘Good job’ and that means a lot to us.”

Most of the neighborhood events are scheduled for some time between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.