LaGRANGE — Officers with the LaGrange Police Department are bustling around the city in the final stages of preparing for their inaugural National Night Out event.
The theme is crime and drug prevention, said Senior Officer Jim Davison.
“We want to combat crime and drugs, but also strengthen neighborhoods and bring people together,” said Davison.
He and Sgt. Marshall McCoy, both part of LPD’s Community Outreach Division, are also the organizers of the event.
The event will include games for children, equipment displays from the National Guard, LaGrange Fire Department, Air Evac and more.
“The kids games will be carnival type games … bobbing for apples … anything you might see at a fall festival,” Davison explained. “There will also be a dunking booth. People can dunk a police officer or firefighter.”
In addition to the games, there will be booths with free giveaways and informational material from organizations like the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Natural Resources, local businesses and churches.
The LaGrange Fire Department will also have their fire safety house on hand for children to crawl through.
National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, or NATW. The event takes place in 16,000 communities in all 50 United States, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world, according to NATW.
The event started 33 years ago as a way for the community and law enforcement to join together in combating crime and strengthening relationships around their neighborhoods, NATW officials said.
While there will be plenty of fun events on hand for kids and adults, Davison hopes people remember the serious message behind National Night Out.
“That people will avoid drugs, crimes and those types of lifestyles … and learn how not to become a victim of crime,” he said. “I hope there will also be a sense of community … tying the community together with people from all walks of life.”
The LaGrange Police Department’s National Night Out will take place on Tuesday in the parking lots of Planet Fitness and the Beechwood Furniture Store at 110 Commerce Ave, behind the Chick-fil-A restaurant.
The event starts at 5 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.