National Night Out returns

Residents in Union County will have the opportunity to connect with local law enforcement officers in an informal setting through towns’ annual National Night Out events.

National Night Out, nicknamed “America’s night out against crime,” according to the program’s website, is a nationwide event aimed at preventing crime through fostering healthy relationships between citizens and law enforcement personnel. People learn about things such as safety tips, neighborhood crime watches and how they can do their part in creating a safer community through various family-friendly activities.

National Night Out will take place Tuesday, Aug. 5, at multiple locations across the U.S. Check out Union County Weekly’s guide to find National Night Out events near you. 

WESLEY CHAPEL – The Target store in Wesley Chapel and the Wesley Chapel Safety Committee are partnering once again to host a National Night Out event in the Target parking lot.

The event will start Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and include entertainment by Dockwood Music; martial arts demonstrations; information on community safety; products from McDonald’s, 7 Eleven and Kangaroo Express; face painting; and more. Local companies can learn how to unite and form a business watch, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand fingerprinting children for child identification kits.

“Last year, we fingerprinted 145 kids,” Tessie Morris, the Wesley Chapel Safety Committee chair, said. “That alone shows parents this is something that people should do to prevent something from happening to their children.”

Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey, members of the Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department and other law enforcement officers also will be on hand to discuss safety and answer questions.

“I think having the presence of (the officers and firefighters) … helps a great deal, so residents understand what good they do to prevent … (crime from) happening,” Morris said. “Wesley Chapel is a safe place to live in; we just want to try to maintain that.”

Call 704-243-7391 for more information. Target is located at 6350 Weddington Road.

WAXHAW – The Waxhaw Police Department will host a National Night Out Kick-off Event on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will include a bicycle helmet giveaway, free car seat checks, free child identification kits and fingerprinting, a Jaws of Life demonstration by the Waxhaw Fire Department, a driving-while-impaired golf cart challenge, S.W.A.T. and armored trucks, a K9 unit, police motorcycles and cars, water slides, inflatables, crafts, a build-and-grow project by Lowe’s, food and a special appearance by the Chick-fil-A cow.

The department also will host a Dunk a Cop to Fight Cancer dunking booth. Waxhaw police officers will sit in the dunking booth, which will raise money to benefit Parkwood High School rising senior Andy Giarla, who is fighting stage IV brain cancer.

Waxhaw police will coordinate National Night Out events at different neighborhoods throughout the town Tuesday, Aug. 5. Saturday’s kick-off will include information for residents wishing to host a National Night Out event in their own neighborhoods Tuesday.

“It’s a chance to meet your neighbors and build a bond between neighbors in each community, so you know who belongs in your neighborhood and who doesn’t,” Officer Vic Montalvo, of the Waxhaw Police Department, said. “… We send officers out there to participate with them (to create) a bond between the community and police to stop crime.”

Montalvo also encourages residents to leave their front porch lights turned on Tuesday evening to show support for National Night Out. Call 704-843-2195 for more information.

The Waxhaw Police Department is located at 3620 Providence Road S.

STALLINGS – The Stallings Police Department won’t be hosting National Night Out events in any of the town’s neighborhoods this year, but Police Chief Minor Plyler said in an email the department might work with neighborhoods to host similar gatherings in the fall.

“Typically, our neighborhoods wait until the fall, with a little cooler weather, to have a neighborhood event,” Plyler said in the email. “We strongly support these events when they are planned.”

Contact the department at 704-821-0300 for more information about hosting a community safety awareness event in Stallings.

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Josh Whitener

About Josh Whitener

Josh Whitener has been with Union County Weekly since he started freelancing for the newspaper in summer 2010. He joined the paper full time in December 2011 as a staff writer and has since been promoted to Features Editor, a position that allows him to focus on Union County school and education news, human interest stories, church and religion news, special events and more. Josh graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009 with a degree in communication studies - mass media and a minor in journalism. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and writing music and spending time with his wife, April, and son, Caleb, and their two beagles, Annie and Dori. Have a story idea or question for Josh? Contact him at josh@unioncountyweekly.com.

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