Spencer to host second North Rowan National Night Out

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, July 27, 2022

SPENCER — The town of Spencer is bringing back National Night Out at Park Plaza Aug. 2.

Spencer is hosting the event, but town Police Chief Mike File said it is intended for the entire North Rowan community and East Spencer is invited. The event is one of many hosted by local police departments across the country that night. Some departments have held their own edition for years and Spencer’s first event in 2021 was more successful than expected.

File said the town did not formally track attendance last year, but the town estimates about 400 people attended.

Whosoever Will Let Them Come Ministries Pastor Chris Brown volunteered to prepare all the free food last year, and the church gave away all 400 hotdogs it prepared for the event. The church is donating the food again this year and bringing even more.

The events are intended to build better relationships between local police departments and the communities they police. File said it is always helpful when community members can put a face to the officers in the department.

“Having the ability to meet with that public and make that one-on-one connection, it really helps us out because then in times when the public calls on us for help they have a familiar face,” File said. “I really think it’s beneficial.”

File said the town is bringing back everything it had last year: emergency vehicle displays, information booths hosted by local organizations and a crash simulator. The department is adding an impaired driving reenactment at 6:30 p.m. as a one-off demonstration that starts with blue lights and sirens.

File said the department is working with some mutual aid departments for the reenactment and bringing in some crash vehicles, the fire department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The demonstration will include education on emergency responses like how to get trapped passengers out of a vehicle.

“Besides that, it’s very similar to what we did last year as an open forum for the community to meet and greet,” File said.

File said the only national-level involvement on the town’s part was to register the event with the national organization, which keeps track of where and how many National Night Out events are hosted each year.

File said there are national sponsors but the town solicits its own support from local organizations. This year’s sponsors are Cheerwine, Food Lion, Civic Federal Credit Union, and George Hamm Used Auto Parts.

The town also credits a long list of community partners who have pitched in for the event: Spencer Moose Lodge, the N.C. Transportation Museum, New Hope Baptist Church, The Terrie Hess House, Communities in Schools, Spencer’s fire and public works departments, Bob Ware Racing, Rowan County EMS, and Novant Health.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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