National Night Out events today in NewnanBy JOHN A. WINTERS
Area law enforcement, fire departments and other first responders will be at two locations this afternoon to promote neighborhood and community awareness on crime and drug prevention.
Today is the annual National Night Out, which focuses on bringing together law enforcement, safety officials and the community together.
National Night Out began in 1984 to increase crime and drug prevention awareness and support local anti-crime programs. In 2011, 37 million people in more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states participated in National Night Out.
One site will be the Newnan Kroger at 48 Bullsboro Drive, which is hosting a "'Meet and Greet Public Safety Superheroes" event. That is scheduled in the parking lot from 4-7 p.m.
“The ‘Meet and Greet Public Safety Superheroes’ event provides a setting for local families and customers to get to know Newnan’s real life superheroes and all of the people who help keep the community safe,” says Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations of Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “We appreciate their hard work and look forward to being part of such an important event.”
Those at the Kroger location will be able to learn about fire safety and prevention from the Newnan and Coweta fire departments; learn about motorcycle safety from the Blue Knights Georgia Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club; and participate in the American Red Cross blood drive from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Lt. Stephen Crook with the sheriff's office said, weather permitting, the department's helicopter and K-9 units will be at the Kroger location.
The other location will be the Target parking lot off Newnan Crossing Bypass from 4-6 p.m. At both events, law enforcement will be handing out coloring books and badges for children and provide Child I.D. kits for parents.
"One of the main things we give out are the Child I.D. kits," Crook said. "These have a place for fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples. It's for the parents to keep at home and have available if anything should ever happen to their child."
Crook said he recommends that everyone update the ID kits every two or three years.
"Fingerprints don't change, but as the child ages their hands get bigger and we can get better prints," he explained.