Free hot dogs at Natl’ Night Out

Published 4:38 pm Friday, July 31, 2015

By Abby Proch
Staff writer

Isle of Wight residents are invited to one of three National Night Out events on Aug. 4.
Smithfield’s National Night Out event is Tuesday, Aug. 4, 5-8 p.m. at Main Street Baptist Church in downtown Smithfield.
Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office and the Windsor Police Department will hold their events the same evening.
Windsor’s event, featuring free hot dogs, snacks, drinks and kids activities is Aug. 4, 6-8 p.m. behind the Windsor Police Department.
While the Sheriff’s Office supports the town’s event, it is also holding two of its own events, one in the Thomas Park and Orchard Garden neighborhoods from 6-9 p.m. and another in Eagle Harbor Apartments from 5-8 p.m.
National Night Out “sends a message to criminals to let them know that in our neighborhoods and in our town, we are organized and fighting back,” as well as generating support and participation with local crime prevention efforts, said Smithfield Police Crime Prevention Specialist Kurt Beach.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 4
Smithfield: 5-8 p.m. at Main Street Baptist Church, 517 Main St.
Windsor: 6-8 p.m. at Windsor Police Department, 56 E. Windsor Blvd.
Sheriff’s Office: 6-9 p.m. in Thomas Park/Orchard Garden neighborhoods and Eagle Harbor Apartments from 5-8 p.m.
For more information about National Night Out, visit


“We’ve enjoyed (National Night Out) in this town for decades. It’s a great way for people to come out and meet police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel… in non-stressful situations,” said Beach.
Smithfield’s event is co-sponsored by Main Street Baptist Church and the Smithfield Community Crime Prevention Team.
“You have the faith-based community and the civilian committee and the sheriff’s office and police department all coming together,” said Beach.
The Smithfield National Night Out has switched venues from previously being held on Main Street and at the Luter Family YMCA, Riverview Park and Jersey Park over the years.
“Inevitably, it is the hottest day of the year. Last year was a scorcher, and when people did come out, they didn’t stay very long because it was very, very hot,” said Beach.
Main Street Baptist offers room outdoors, as well as indoor, air-conditioned space, he said.
Attendees can expect police and emergency vehicles from town and county departments; safety education for kids and families, including gun safety; and games, activities and challenges from Children’s Center.
The church will provide entertainment with gospel, dance and jazz performances, and its Men’s Ministry will provide free hot dogs, chips and bottled water, said Beach.
“We are expecting to have a pretty good time with a lot of things going o to keep people interested and engaged throughout the evening.”
The event will also highlight domestic violence awareness with information from the county’s Victim and Witness Assistance Program, Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and women’s shelter volunteers.
Crime Line volunteers will also present the tip line’s new texting option, which allows tips to be delivered via text message instead of voice calls to the hotline number.
National Night Out will also hold two contests, one for kids art and one for photography.
Kids can create an 11×8½-inch piece of work that addresses the theme “what a safe community looks like.”
Two winners will receive a pizza party for four at either the Smithfield Police Department or the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.
A photo contest, open to all ages, encourages attendees to “capture the moment” during the event and submit it the email address displayed during National Night Out.
The winner gets an ice cream sundae for four at the Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor.
Both winning entries will be submitted alongside the department’s application for national recognition.
“It’s things like this that catch the national office’s attention, how you’re really interacting with your community and touching people, making that connection,” said Beach.
Smithfield’s National Night Out event has earned national distinction over the past two years, and it again will be throwing itself into the ring for competition, said Beach.
Smithfield’s celebration is one of 17,000 scheduled to take place in all 50 states and will likely attract more than 38 million people, said Beach.
Smithfield’s event also helps the police department maintain its certification as crime prevention community, which it obtained in 2014.
It gives the department the chance to also highlight other programs like Neighborhood Watch, TRIAD and Crime Line.
Beach encourages families to turn their porch lights when they return home to “show that National Night Out is really about putting a light on crime.”
 “If they can’t make it to ours, we hope they can make it to the ones in Windsor and the other parts of the county,” said Beach.{/mprestriction}

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