The annual Henderson-Vance Night Out Against Crime returns to L.B. Yancey Elementary School for the eighth consecutive year on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The program will run from 4 to 7 p.m. with the theme “Take a Community Stand, Give Law Enforcement a Helping Hand Fighting Crime.”
Freshman state Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton, will be the guest speaker at the invitation of Police Chief Glen Allen, said police Lt. Irvin Robinson, who’s organizing Night Out with the help of a committee of about 30 people.
At a time when several community organizations are playing a more active stance against crime, Robinson said Night Out plays an important role. “It’s a chance for the community to see law enforcement and other agencies in a different light than arresting people,” the lieutenant said. “We are human just like they are.”
Robinson expects more than 1,000 people to get that lesson Aug. 6. Last year 1,116 people registered outside L.B. Yancey, Robinson said, “and we know some people didn’t register.”
The Night Out committee will have 1,000 T-shirts and 1,200 hot dogs, as well as drinks, to hand out during the three-hour event.
Among the highlights of the day will be the state Safe Kids van, which demonstrates the proper use of such equipment as car seats and bicycle helmets, and a state helicopter. Robinson said the helicopter is one of the reasons the event is held at L.B. Yancey each year: The school has an open field for the chopper to land easily.
Aside from Wray, the afternoon’s speakers will include Allen, Sheriff R. Thomas Breedlove, the Rev. Todd Hester of Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church, Schools Superintendent Norm Shearin, Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson and L.B. Yancey Principal Phillip Rountree.
In addition to the Henderson Police Department, the sponsoring agencies for Night Out are the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, the Henderson-Vance Fire Department, the Vance Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, the South Henderson Family Resource Center and Vance County Schools. Roughly 30 other agencies are participating.
“I just hope everybody will come out and enjoy themselves,” Robinson said.