JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
National Night Out, a neighborhood crime and drug prevention event that unites law enforcement agencies and communities, will be observed at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Joint Base San Antonio locations with a variety of activities.
A motorcade led by 502nd Mission Support Group and 502nd Security Forces Squadron representatives as well as Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog will be one of the highlights of JBSA-Fort Sam Houston's National Night Out, while the Randolph High School Marching Band, Sparky, McGruff and mascots from the 902nd Force Support Squadron and 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron will be featured at the JBSA-Randolph event.
All three locations will create a block party atmosphere by setting aside areas for activities such as games, food, refreshments, music, military working dog demonstrations, and police vehicle and fire truck displays.
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston's National Night Out activities are planned at three sites: Lincoln Resident Center, building 407, Dickman Road; Harris Heights Community Center, 3751 Patch Road; and Watkins Terrace Community Center, 5840 Frazier Road. The main housing office, 2254 Brian McElroy St., will be the site of JBSA-Lackland's National Night Out. JBSA-Randolph's NNO site will be North Park Street immediately north of the Parr Club.
Steven Dews, 502nd SFS crime prevention officer, said the goals of National Night Out are to "heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships."
Staff Sgt. Edward Grant, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of police services, said NNO is law enforcement's "way of giving back to the community.
"It's also a way of telling the community we're on their side," he said. "National Night Out has definitely put a sense of trust between the public and first responders."
Staff Sgt. Jason Kempel, 802nd SFS, said NNO sends a message to criminals.
"It lets them know that neighborhoods are organizing and fighting back against crime and drug activity," he said.
JBSA National Night Out coordinators said support for the locations' NNO events continues to grow.
"With JBSA-Lackland being involved since 2008, we have really gotten a good grasp on things," Kempel said. "We continue to add more events and more organizations are stepping up and participating to make this better and better as we go on. Knowing that we have expanded our housing community, we expect a greater turnout and even bigger community involvement."
Grant said "constant growth" has characterized JBSA-Randolph's NNO event.
"It has continued to grow and evolve," he said. "We have added new ideas and new activities that have fostered law enforcement-community interaction."