SPD asks community to join them for National Night Out

Faith Lifer
Staff Writer

The Starkville Police Department will host its third annual National Night Out Tuesday night to bring Starkville food and fun, but also information to build community partnerships.

The event will take place at the Starkville Sportsplex at 405 Lynn Lane from 7-10 p.m., and it will be free to the public.

The first 300 people to arrive will also be treated with a free National Night Out T-shirt. National Association of Town Watch sponsors the event, and Starkville will join other communities across the nation by participating.
“This will be our third year we’ve participated,” Starkville police Lieutenant Henry Stewart said. “The first year was great, the second year was big and we’re hoping to have a bigger year this year.”

Several churches have partnered with SPD to provide free food and beverages for the event.

According to Stewart, there will be hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, funnel cake and a dessert table with cakes, pies and cookies.

There will also be entertainment, including dance teams, a bouncy house and face painting.

Although the event is meant to be fun, the Community-Oriented Police Division of SPD organized the event to both celebrate one night of saying no to crime and to build community relations and partnerships.

SPD believes part of building community relations is bringing the community information from organizations that aim to help the public. Strong community relations help build safer communities through the education of available resources to residents.

As part of the event, different organizations in the community will set up tables in the Sportsplex with useful information about the services they provide, which SPD hopes may provide someone with information that person needed to know.

Some of the organizations present that provide life enhancement services will be: Safe Haven, Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, Community Counseling Services, Diamond Grove Center and Habitat for Humanity.

There will also be a table on bullying prevention, which Stewart believes is a critical issue in local schools.

“We’re going to have fun, and games and food,” Stewart said. “But there might be some information you might not be aware of when you go to that person operating the table who gives you information.”

In the process, SPD hopes members from the community who come and participate will meet a new friend.

“Our main goal is that you meet somebody you didn’t know before, meet a new friend on the National Night Out on Crime,” Stewart said.

“Chief Nichols and the SPD ask that the community come out with us on that night to celebrate with us to say no to crime,” Stewart continued.

“To continue to build a safer community and also continue to build community relations for the future.”