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National Night Out Against Crime event planned for Dearing

The McDuffie County Sheriff's Department has joined a national program and will host its first National Night Out Against Crime in the Town of Dearing.

McDuffie Sheriff's Deputy Barry Whitfield was on hand at the July town council meeting to discuss the plans for the event, which will be held Tuesday, Aug. 4, in front of the Dearing Gym. Deputy Whitfield told the council members that the sheriff's department thought Dearing would be the ideal place for a kick-off of the event because the town's recent Neighborhood Watch start-up was so successful and "the Mayfest always runs so smoothly."

The community event will include a hamburger/hot dog cookout by the sheriff's department, games and presentations by the sheriff and fire departments, inflatable rides for the children and a "Dunk-a-Cop" dunking booth.

During the meeting, Deputy Whitfield mischievously remarked that since the law enforcement agency would be cooking the hamburgers, "maybe the mayor can do a low country boil or something," referring to the mayor's first place win of the Miss Alene's Burger Battle at this year's Mayfest.

"Oh yes, we'll just have a good ole time," Mayor Sean Kelley said, agreeing to "cook something."

National Night Out is a crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. Each year, cities, towns and neighborhoods celebrate NNO with a variety of activities, including front porch vigils, block parties and cookouts, parades and exhibits, flashlight walks, contests and visits with local law enforcement agencies.

According to information from Deputy Whitfield, last year's national campaign involved over 37 million people in over 15,000 communities. The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals that communities are fighting back.

Web posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009

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