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'National Night Out' hosted in southern Gwinnett cities

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan K9 Officer Phil Halladay of the Snellville Police Department and Dutch Shepherd Duko interact with attendees of the "National Night Out Against Crime" at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan K9 Officer Phil Halladay of the Snellville Police Department and Dutch Shepherd Duko interact with attendees of the "National Night Out Against Crime" at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Crowds gather during the "National Night Out Against Crime" hosted by the Snellville Police Department at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Lt. C G Roberts of the Snellville Police Department welcomes Maddie Mixon, 1, her mother Sharon Mixon and brother Graydon Mixon, 3, to the "National Night Out Against Crime" at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan K9 Officer Phil Halladay of the Snellville Police Department and Dutch Shepherd Bart perform an apprehension of a suspect drill for attendees to see during the "National Night Out Against Crime" at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Lt. C G Roberts, right, and Officer Rain Nieddu, left, of the Snellville Police Department inform the public how to react appropriately when being pulled over during a mock scenario during the "National Night Out Against Crime" at the Snellville Towne Green on Tuesday. The event included safety tips, demonstrations, emergency vehicles and a chance to interact with local officers.

SNELLVILLE -- Most people who fought the rain to make it out to Snellville's "National Night Out Against Crime" event Tuesday night seemed to enjoy it.

But 10-year-old Gregory Jackson was especially impressed, particularly after getting to sit in the driver's seat of a Snellville Police Department squad car.

"I look at it like this," Jackson said, glasses sliding down his nose. "That's the most coolest and the most amazing police car I ever sat in before."

The event on Snellville's Towne Green was one of thousands across the country Tuesday, as police departments and community groups got together to continue the "National Night Out" tradition. With offerings like K9 demonstrations, a fake traffic stop and self defense tips, the goal is "for citizens to come out and interact with out police in a really friendly environment," said Mary Fergus, president of the Snellville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.

Even a bank (for identity fraud tips) and a landscaping company (for tips on how to creatively deter criminals) were present Tuesday.

"It's so important to try and forge that relationship between the safety force and our community," said Tom Martin, the team coordinator for Snellville's night. "The whole idea is to make sure people get the message that we aim to keep the community safe, that the community is a safe place to live."

The event, which was started nationally in 1984, has become a big deal in a few Gwinnett cities. Lilburn and Norcross also hosted National Night Out festivals Tuesday, both ripe with demos and safety tips.

An estimated 15,000 communities in the United States participated Tuesday.

Lilburn's event was co-sponsored by the police department and SafetySmart Lilburn.

"The executive board of (SafetySmart Lilburn) have put scores of hours into putting this event together this year," Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley said.

Visitor Mirian Jackson raved about the evening, even if it started out a little wet.

"(It's good) to know that the police officers are here and they're active in the community, and they're close and they're friendly," Jackson said. "We enjoyed ourselves. Even though it rained we just stuck with it."

Comments

Susan 1 year, 8 months ago

I hope Lilburn, Norcross and Snellville inspire the rest of Gwinnett's cities to participate in National Night Out next year, especially with the idea of leaving outside lights on all evening. What an aerial view that would be if all of Gwinnett County was lit up! Let's go for it!

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

The police have told me the majority of crimes is committed before 5pm, not at night. Crimes committed at night could be adverted if people carried concealed weapon permits all the time. Crooks try to do most of their crimes when people are not at home. Of course, drug crimes and murders have no boundaries. These are crimes that cops cannot stop no matter if we have a cop on every corner. They then are just used to solve the crimes. Wake up people!

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