In the midst of police-involved shootings and protests across the nation, the Simpsonville Police Department hopes to connect the public and law enforcement in a positive way with a National Night Out.
“National Night Out is an opportunity for citizens to interact with officers in a relaxed environment. Now more than ever, we want to show the community the human side of law enforcement,” said Simpsonville’s Lt. Timmie Williams.
The Simpsonville Police Department has already received an outpouring of support from the community following the recent shooting in Dallas in which five officers were killed and other incidents. Last week, the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce collected food from residents and businesses and donated 60 “appreciation bags” to the department.
“In light of the recent national headlines, several citizens and organizations have brought goodies, such as cookies and snacks, to the police department as a show of support. Now it is our turn to show the community how much we appreciate them,” Williams said.
Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out is a free community-building event held on the first Tuesday of August to better connect residents and police officers. Last year, more than 38 million people participated across the nation.
Simpsonville’s National Night Out event is being held on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Park, 400 Block of East Curtis St. The city has partnered with local businesses and organizations, including Greenville Health System’s Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, Home Depot and more, to provide free food and entertainment.
Activities will include inflatables, a rock-climbing wall and woodworking. Children will also be able to sit in the driver’s seat of a police cruiser and try on a Kevlar vest.
National Night Out is also being celebrated at other locations throughout the county:
- The Greenville Police Department isn’t hosting an event but will be at a free event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Connection, 510 Old Augusta Road.
- Fountain Inn is holding a free event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on a closed portion of Main Street. It features free hot dogs, chips, drinks, snow cones, games, music and more. The National Guard is also bringing a tank to the event.
- Greer is holding a free event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Park, 301 East Poinsett St. It will feature light refreshments. Residents can also sign up for Operation ID, Citizens Police Academy and Neighborhood Watch. The Greer Fire Department will also have several fire engines on display. Other activities include bounce houses, face painting and corn hole. The city is also placing lures at Pokestops in the park to draw in Pokemon Go players.
- Mauldin is holding a free event from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mauldin Cultural Center, 101 East Butler Road. It will feature free food, vendors, family activities and live music performed by Spirit Well, a local 80s rock cover band.