A grill-out and pool party sound like the perfect way to cap off summer vacation. Area residents can do just that by attending the local National Night Out, hosted by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville, at the Batesville Memorial Pool Monday, Aug. 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and water plus swimming are all free.
Representatives from area law enforcement agencies have been invited, says Maj. Jeff Thielking, the Batesville Police Department assistant chief and Ripley County Fraternal Order of Police secretary. “Our primary job is to cook. FOP has a big grill. We show up with the grill and the food.”
CDFB members and police volunteers will be assisted by Batesville Mayor’s Youth Council members, reports coalition coordinator Kim Linkel.
The Batesville City Council voted to spend $1,500 from Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing funds for the event.
There will be more to do than swimming and eating. One popular greeter will be Jinx, a 54-pound Dutch shepherd who arrived at BPD just over a year ago. The 2-year old female is trained to track drugs and also human odor, so the dog can be used as well in searches for lost children and the elderly. Jinx is partnered with Sgt. Danny Hamilton.
“We have a few agencies to date that will have booths,” according to Linkel. “If others want to, they just need to let me know” by e-mailing Kim.Linkel@cmhcinc.org.
Youth will receive NNO bracelets and may register to win a bike and helmet donated by Margaret Mary Health. Adults can register to win Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. Booths may also have giveaways if they wish.
Linkel and other planners are hoping for a great turnout. “People should attend to enjoy a safe and drug-free evening and interact with local law enforcement officers,” she believes. CDFB member Geralyn Litzinger adds, “It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors even better.”
National Association of Town Watch (www.natw.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs, including National Night Out, which was introduced by executive director Matt Peskin in 1984.
The activity now involves over 37 million and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. It traditionally takes place on the first Tuesday in August. CDFB members decided to set the local grill-out one day earlier as public schools open Aug. 7.
Peskin said on the Web site, “This is a night for America to stand together and promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight for a safer nation. On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us and ‘give crime a going-away party.’”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
ANOTHER NEARBY EVENT • Franklin County's ninth annual cookout, sponsored by Stayin' Alive and law enforcement agencies there, is Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Smyrna Baptist Church, New Trenton. Info: 765-647-7272 or www.stayinalive24.org.