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WAKE FOREST — Dozens of parents and children attended the National Night Out celebration organized by the Wake Forest Police Department on Monday.
The annual event is an opportunity for citizens and officers to get to know each other and “promote community partnerships with our citizens,” said Senior Officer Scott Graham.
The family-friendly evening included music, food, cake, raffles, information booths and displays of fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles. Kids were invited to walk through the vehicles, watch demonstrations warning against drug use and interact with officers in a positive environment.
“Our town values our youth and invests in them,” Graham said, adding that it’s important for kids to know police “are a role model and are here to protect them.”
The free event was held outside the Renaissance Centre in downtown.
Wake Forest mother Nicole Banner brought her three kids to National Night Out. She said her family was enjoying the activities and giveaways.
Banner said she remembered going to D.A.R.E. events as a child and wanted her kids to have a similar positive experience at National Night Out.
The event was supported by local businesses and community groups, including the American Legion and Target, which provided food and other resources.
Wake County EMS, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Rolesville Police Department and Wake Forest Fire Department attended as well. The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program provided a Breath Alcohol Test Mobile Unit — known as a BATMobile — and a “seat belt convincer,” a rideable device that aims to show adults that importance of wearing seat belts.
The police department holds National Night Out on the first Monday of each October. The departments said it aims to bring awareness to crime and drug prevention programs.