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‘Night Out’ fights crime

AULANDER – The Town of Aulander is planning a going away party.

No, the mayor isn’t retiring, or are any public officials in this Bertie County town.

The party is for those who choose an illegal lifestyle in the form of committing crimes and using/selling controlled substances. It’s those individuals who threaten the moral fiber of small communities.

For the second consecutive year, Aulander will take part in the National Night Out celebration. That event, planned for Aug. 1, is aimed at promoting police/community partnerships, crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood unity.

“We’re giving neighborhood crime and drugs a going away party,” Jimmy Barmer, Aulander Police Chief, said. “This will be our second event and we’re planning on making this one bigger and better.”

Scheduled for 6-9 p.m. at the Aulander Community Building, event organizers are planning activities such as a dunking booth, a 14-foot slide for children, free hotdogs and displays from law enforcement, fire and rescue.

“We had about 1,000 people to come to our first event last August,” Barmer recalled. “Let’s have at least the same amount, if not bigger, this year.”

Currently, Barmer is soliciting private and business sponsorships to help offset the costs of staging an event of this magnitude. The donations will go towards paying for food and prizes.

“I humbly ask for your support in this very important endeavor,” Barmer said. “You will be doing a great deed for the citizens of our community and you will be recognized for your contributions.”

Those wishing to make a donation are urged to contact Barmer at 325-2991.

National Night Out, now in its 23rd year, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and participating municipalities. Over 10,000 communities from all 50 states as well as U.S. territories and military bases now take part in this annual event. All totaled, over 34 million people are expected to participate in America’s Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 1.

Nationally, support comes from the Target Corporation and the United States Department of Justice.

The events also promote fingerprinting nearly two million children annually as law enforcement agencies throughout the nation embark upon a battle to protect youngsters from abduction.

“Project 365” is also a part of National Night Out. According to Barmer, this project encourages citizens to work with law enforcement in removing an eyesore area or drug infested/high crime area.

“Please come out and help us say goodbye to those who choose an illegal lifestyle,” Barmer concluded. “We want to raise awareness to crime prevention. The more we are able to get the citizens involved, the safer we can make our communities and our neighborhoods.”

In signing a proclamation that includes his town in the National Night Out event, Aulander Mayor Joe Jernigan said, “It is essential that all citizens of Aulander are aware of the importance of crime prevention programs and the impact their participation can have on reducing crime, drugs and violence in our town.”