08/04/13 — Officials prepare for National Night Out

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Officials prepare for National Night Out

By John Joyce and Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on August 4, 2013 1:50 AM

Set up has already begun for the 30th annual National Night Out, kicking off at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Goldsboro's Herman Park.

Mount Olive will hold its National Night Out on the same night at Nelson Street Park from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Goldsboro Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Goldsboro Housing Authority are hosting the community event in Goldsboro, offering free food, games for kids, guest speakers, and this year's premier item -- a giant hamster ball.

"Help fight crime by coming together," Cpl. Robert Jones of the Goldsboro Police Department said was the event's message.

National Night Out celebrates the partnership between law enforcement and the community each year with live music and family fun.

"The gist of the thing is you're giving crime a going-away party," said Men of FIC member Sam Platt in Mount Olive.

The Men of FIC (Faith, Integrity and Character) and the Mount Olive Police Department have jointly organized the Mount Olive event for the last few years.

"We are excited about doing it, and we are excited about the community being there," said Mount Olive Sgt. John Duncan.

In Goldsboro, guests this year will include Miss Goldsboro Beth Stovall, singing the national anthem. The Boy Scouts of America will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders and Maj. Jay Memelaar of the Goldsboro Police Department will both speak, as will Goldsboro Mayor Al King.

The keynote speaker, returning from last year, is Pastor Terry Jones of Place of Refuge Ministries and the God Belongs in My City movement.

Both the Goldsboro Police and Fire Explorers will set up booths, as will sponsors including Coca-Cola, Pizza Inn, Krispy Kreme, Reet's Italian Ice, PET Dairy, and others.

"It's all free," said Sgt. Paige Learnard of the Goldsboro Police Department.

Mount Olive's event will feature games for children, a three-on-three basketball competition, speeches from town officials, free hot dogs and drinks and entertainment.

Representatives from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Mount Olive Police Department and Mount Olive Fire Department will also be on hand with some of their equipment to give presentations on how officers and firefighters do their jobs.

And Mount Olive police officers will have patrol cars at the event to show residents how officers run tickets through their recently purchased on-board computers.

Slated to perform at the Herman Park gathering are Ordinary Gentlemen, Elect Ladies of Goldsboro, Miss Outstanding Teen Emma Carter, and the Continental Children's Community Choir.

The Goldsboro Lions and Kiwanis Clubs will also be in attendance and the Goldsboro Department of Parks and Recreation will be assisting throughout the night.

"It's a free night of crime," Jones said before catching his mistake and laughing.

"Crime-free. It's a night for the community to be crime-free," he corrected.