Wed August 03, 2022

By April Lovette

Prescott's first National Night Out a big hit with local residents

The Prescott Police Department (PPD) hosted its first National Night Out at the Nevada County Fairgrounds last night and many members of the community turned up to show their support. National Night Out is a nationwide campaign that takes place annually and serves to build partnerships between the community and local law enforcement. The event was organized by PPD Sergeant Casey Autry, and he said National Night Out is something he and fellow officers have wanted to participate in for some time. "This is chance for the community to come out and meet us and just have a good time," Autry said. "We are trying to reach out to the community and build positive relationships. Plus, we want these kids to know they can come to us when they need help."

Multiple agencies from Prescott and Nevada County joined the PPD in the endeavor: Prescott Fire Department, Emmet Fire Department, Fair Hills Fire Department, Nevada County Sheriff's Department, and Nevada County Fire and Rescue. Throughout the night, all representatives from these agencies could be seen visiting and chatting with attendees, and many of the kids were delighted to observe the police cars and fire trucks which were placed in a long line with lights flashing for display.

Autry said the event was also a great way to allow local vendors the opportunity to sell their goods. Numerous booths were set up by local clubs, organizations, and businesses, so the Potlatch building stayed busy with participants visiting, shopping, or grabbing a snack. Prescott's National Night Out attracted some traveling vendors, as well. Franschecea Ruffins from Shreveport, whose pet accessories were a popular item of the night, said she enjoys traveling to Prescott to attend events. "I went to school in Hope, but even though I live in Shreveport now, I love coming back to Arkansas for these events," Ruffins said. Even Mayor Oliver stopped by her booth to grab a happy surprise for his pet.

Most notable of all, though, was the show of support from the community. As the night progressed, more and more local resident showed up to let the kids play in the bouncy houses, shop the booths, grab a bite, or just have a small chat with fellow members of the community. Many gathered around to enjoy the kickball game and watch their local officers having fun. PPD Chief Ann Jordan said she couldn't have been more pleased with the night's turnout. "It was amazing," Jordan said. "To see so many people from the community show up and support this event meant so much to all of us. We had so much fun with everyone; it was just great!"

Since National Night Out is an annual event, and Prescott's first showing was such a success, one can surmise that many Prescott and Nevada County residents, in addition to the local law enforcement agencies, will be eagerly looking forward to next year's National Night Out.