ROCKINGHAM — The area from the Rockingham Library to the parking lot of City Hall will resemble a mini-carnival Tuesday as kids and cops come together for National Night Out at Cole Plaza.
One of the highlights of the event will be the graduation of all the cadets from the Rockingham Police Department’s Junior Police Academy, which was held in late June.
Chief Billy Kelly said 52 students attended the week-long day camp this year and the majority of them will be at National Night Out to receive their certificates, which kicks off the event.
Following that, there will be several activities for kids to participate in, including a dunking booth from Richmond County Crime Stoppers with two officers from the Rockingham Police Department taking a dive.
The RPD traffic team and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will have a Fatal Vision obstacle course, which may or may not include a golf cart, where participants put on goggles that simulate being intoxicated. Information on traffic safety will available at that station.
Officers will also be on hand to take the children’s fingerprints for child ID kits, Kelly said.
Other recreational activities include a bounce house, rock-climbing wall, an inflatable slide, obstacle course and a sports challenge.
Local band Hydrenaline will take the stage once again, providing entertainment for the crowd. Last summer, the band belted out music ranging from ’90s alternative rockers Stone Temple Pilots and Three Doors Down to Blue Oyster Cult from the ’70s.
Kelly said the purpose of the event is to “provide an opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances…(and) create a police-community partnership.”
“We’re very excited and hope people take the opportunity to come out and enjoy this event,” he said.
The nationwide program, now in its 31st year, has been been held in Rockingham for more than a decade.
The event starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 8:30.
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.