Stand together to fight crime, drugs

Most of those in Clinton, like the majority of people throughout our country, detest drugs and crime and would do anything to prevent either from invading their communities.

Although not immune to the ravages that both cause — to families, neighborhoods, individuals — we still have opportunities to make a difference, sending a clear message to drug dealers, thieves and any number of other violent criminals that low-life activities will not be tolerated.

That’s one of the reasons we wholeheartedly support National Night Out and hope you will too, taking part in Clinton’s second such event in as many years, in just a few weeks, on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the James L. Newkirk Memorial Park.

And don’t think for a minute that you have to live in the Newkirk Park area to be welcome or needed at this special event. Quite the contrary, no matter what neighborhood you live in, National Night Out is a time for citizens across our great county to join together with law enforcement officers in a show of unity and support for cleaning up neighborhoods and working to rid them of drugs and crime.

No neighborhood in our fair city (or our county for that matter) is immune to the ravages of drugs and crime. That’s why standing together is so important, and supporting our law enforcement officers’ efforts is so vital. And why events such as National Night Out send a clear message if proven successful

Last year’s fledgling event was a tremendous success, with hundreds of people in attendance. And it did exactly what it was touted to do — forge stronger relationships between neighbors and build on already growing partnerships between the community and law enforcement.

It was a festival atmosphere with an underlying theme of safety, prevention and camaraderie, all born out of a desire for Clinton and its neighborhoods to come together as we so often do, with one common purpose.

“This is a night for Clinton to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity,” organizers said prior to last year’s event. The same is true this year.

Deemed a “going away party” for crime and drugs, Newkirk Advisory Committee member Nettie Pernell said in a Sampson Independent article earlier this week that the event is a fun and educational way to show neighborhood unity against crime, drugs and violence.

“Everyone’s goal is to rid our community of drugs and crime,” Pernell attested.

We couldn’t agree more.

During this year’s “Night Out” event, children and other local residents will have an opportunity to visit with local law enforcement, emergency personnel, representatives from the local Health Department, Sampson Regional Medical Center and Eastpointe to learn about services and see vehicles and equipment up close. The fire department has plans to have the Smokehouse available, as well as the boat from the North Carolina Wildlife Services.

In addition to food, there will be a bouncy house, K9 demonstrations, photo opportunities and many other activities that are free and open to the public. The Gamma Eta Eta chapter of the Chi Eta Phi Sorority of Clinton will be performing free glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

With a plethora of activities and an important focus, we cannot see how the second National Night Out won’t be exactly what we and organizers hope: a time for people to come together with a common purpose of strengthening bonds and neighborhoods and showing those who turn to crime that doing so in our neighborhoods might not be as easy as once thought.

Join us in supporting this event. It will benefit us all.