The Daleville Department of Public Safety joined with other community first responder groups to celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The event, held at Culpepper Park, featured demonstrations by the separate departments of Daleville Department of Public Safety, Fort Rucker’s Directorate of Public Safety, the Clayhatchee Volunteer Fire Department and the Dale County Sheriff’s Office and its reserves.
Daleville Assembly of God, Titan Magic & Brain Buster Escape Rooms, Wiregrass Angel House, Venturing BSA and more also joined in on the fun, bringing fun games and activities to event-goers.
Police Chief Allen Medley, one of the victims of the event’s dunking booth, said the event is a way to bring the community together.
“The point of this event is to bring the community together, to show them that, like I’ve said before, we’re human,” he said. “We love to have a good time.”
He said the event can also expose the community’s children to those in law enforcement, making first responders more familiar.
“It’s all about the little ones coming and seeing who we are and knowing who we are, for the citizens of Daleville to know we’re here for them,” he said. “This is their town. It belongs to them; we work for them. That’s what I want them to know.
“I want them to get to know the first responders and the police officers that are responding when, nine times out of 10, it’s at their worst moments. They need to have a familiar face because if something bad happens to us, everybody likes that familiar face.”
According to National Night Out's website, the event is held to help enhance relations between community members and law enforcement.
"National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," the website said. "National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances."
National Night Out is celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, the website said. It began in 1984 by Matt Peskin, founded the National Association of Town Watch, which provided community watch groups with the tools necessary to work in the community.
"The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states," the website states. "However, the event soon grew to a celebration beyond just front porch vigils.”
Medley thanked his fellow first responders from other communities and agencies for coming out and supporting Daleville’s National Night Out event.
“Thank you,” he said. “We have to work together, and we have to pull together. We depend on them as much as they depend on us when we have things go wrong. I can’t thank them enough for the support that they give us. We all work together.”