Scott Ridenour, 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron, teaches Fernando Leal how to use a fire extinguisher during the 2011 National Night Out event at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert) (Photo by Airman st Class Alexis Siekert)
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
The partnership between law enforcement agencies and community residents will be celebrated next week as Joint Base San Antonio observes National Night Out with activities from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at three JBSA locations.
National Night Out, a nationwide crime, drug and violence prevention program that began 30 years ago, will feature block parties with activities such as military working dog demonstrations, appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky the Fire Dog, police vehicle and fire truck displays, and games for children. Food and refreshments will be served.
In his proclamation announcing National Night Out, Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander, called upon residents of base housing areas to join public safety representatives at the events, which "provide a unique opportunity for JBSA to join forces with thousands of other communities across the country in promoting cooperative police-community crime prevention efforts."
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston's National Night Out will commence with a motorcade that will visit Watkins Terrace Community Center, Harris Heights Community Center and Fort Sam Houston Resident Center, 407 Dickman Road, site of the block party.
National Night Out at JBSA-Lackland will feature a block party at the Balfour Beatty Community Center, 2254 Brian McElroy St. Information and materials on crime prevention, drug awareness and privately owned weapons will be available.
The Randolph High School Marching Band will be one of the attractions at the JBSA-Randolph Night Out on the North Park median adjacent to the Parr Club. A demonstration by a martial-arts life skills school and musical entertainment are also planned.
Steven Dews, 502nd SFS crime prevention manager, said National Night Out is a worthwhile event for law enforcement officers and housing residents alike.
"We are just like ordinary citizens who have family and friends that we care about," he said. "This is an outstanding occasion to meet and greet the people we serve and protect. We also have the chance to let people know they are not being taken for granted; every police service or 911 call is top priority."
National Night Out gives residents an opportunity to see police officers and firefighters relaxing and sharing their knowledge, Dews said.
"They will receive literature and get to see and handle specialized equipment unique only to first responders," he said.
Staff Sgt. Larry Holmes, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of police services, said attendance at the JBSA-Randolph event continues to rise.
"It's one of those community outreach events," he said. "People get a chance to meet with local law enforcement agency officers to see what they do every day, and we get a chance to meet the people we are protecting every day."
National Night Out also allows all participants to have fun.
"Hopefully everybody will come out and have a good time," Holmes said.