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2014 National Night Out event unites JBSA-Randolph community against crime

By Airman 1st Class Alexandria Slade | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Oct. 15, 2014

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Families from the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph community joined together Oct. 7 as part of the 31st nationwide National Night Out event in an effort to become educated on crime prevention, gather information from base and local agencies and as an opportunity to socialize with neighbors.

"It's important for people to get out and meet their neighbors, meet their local police, get familiar with each other and know their neighborhood," Maj. Julia Jefferson, 902nd Security Forces Squadron commander, said.  "This sets the foundation of awareness because despite the fact that living on base is typically more secure, we're not going to live on a military base forever."

The 902nd SFS performed demonstrations for compliant and non-compliant arrest procedures involving a military working dog and a taser demonstration with Col. Michael Gimbrone, 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group commander, as the volunteer.

This year's event also featured displays from base agencies such as JBSA-Randolph Mental Health and Family Advocacy in support of Domestic Violence Awareness month and JBSA-Randolph Fire and Emergency Services in support of Fire Prevention Week.

According to the National Night Out website, in comparison to when it began in 1984 with just over 2.5 million people participating across 400 communities in 23 states, National Night Out activities are now attended by more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all 50 states, Canadian cities and military bases across the world.

"This event is a success because of people like you who are willing to come out and say 'we want to make a difference,'" Gimbrone said. "The relationships that are established on a night like this don't just last a night; they last for many months and years into the future."

Parents were able to not only learn about general safety practices to keep their families secure, but the event also incorporated children into the displays and demonstrations.

"This was a great opportunity to get out, meet up with the neighbors and see missions of the base that we don't get to see often," Lt. Col. Joel Deboer, 560th Flying Training Squadron commander, said. "Part of the reason we live on base is to enjoy this feeling of 'old America' where the kids can run around and be safe."

Surrounded by the protectors and emergency responders of JBSA-Randolph, families ate, met somebody new and were able to relax while their children learned how to best protect their health and safety throughout the event.