National Night Out in Bay St. Louis
An initiative to increase awareness about police programs in communities took place nationwide tonight. News 25’s Kendra Turley takes us inside tonight’s National Night Out campaign in Bay St. Louis.
Hancock County emergency personnel took the night off from the streets so they could have a night out with the citizens they protect and serve. Bay St. Louis Police Chief Darren Freeman said, “We have a variety of law enforcement agencies that have come in to participate, bringing awareness to the different agencies inside Hancock County.”
The National Night Out Campaign is an event aimed to strengthen the relationship between the community and police force. The expo also featured local businesses and organizations that play a key role in protecting Hancock County. Angelyn Treutel Zeringue with the Hancock County Neighborhood Watch Groups said, “If we as neighbors look out for one another and report things that don’t look correct then that helps the police department keep all of our areas safe.”
Community members experienced a fraction of law enforcement lifestyle through interactive demonstrations. Attractions such as a fire safety house teach residents what to do in case of emergency situations like a fire. Deputy Chief Ronald Avery said, “We bring it in and expose the children to the hazards around the home and at the same time teach them a fire escape plan.”
The night wasn’t all lectures and safety tips. Plenty of families showed up to simply just say hello to officers, teaching youth that every encounter with an officer doesn’t have to be a negative one. Bay St. Louis Resident Johnny Rutherford said, “They work so hard to protect us and sometimes it’s nice to just go shake their hand and thank them and teach the kids it’s good to see a friendly face.”