A small crowd turned out to National Night Out in Rockingham on Tuesday.
Kim Williams, events coordinator for the City of Rockingham, said normally there would be a larger crowd, but the 60 percent chance of rain limited the turn-out.
“Some towns around Charlotte have canceled theirs because of the weather,” Williams said Tuesday evening outside City Hall, where some planned activities for children were called off.
The bounce house was inflated, and kids could get fake tattoos as well as helium balloons, but the rock climbing wall was kept stored away due to the wet weather.
A vendor had hot dogs, candied apples, cotton candy and freshly squeezed lemonade.
In one corner, anyone with a good arm could attempt to dunk a police officer waiting in a dunking booth. For $2, you could throw three balls.
“I would not want to be in that dunking booth,” said Mayor Gene McLaurin, who admitted to having been dunked in a booth before.
The purpose of this community-building campaign is to heighten crime prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are fighting back, law enforcement officials said.
Crash test dummies, Vince and Larry, wandered the area, shaking hands with children. Law enforcement officers had a variety of patrol vehicles parked for display.
One of the main events of the evening was the graduation of the Junior Police Academy, in which several youths took part. They received a certificate of completion while Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly read their names. The youths shook the hands of several officers, McLaurin and City Councilman Steve Morris.
McLaurin remarked that the junior academy has been successful over the past few years, and has even included youths from other counties.
The Richmond County Crime Stoppers were checking child restraints and car seats to make sure they were properly installed.
The band Almost Perfect performed on a stage set up at Cole Plaza beside City Hall, and they played several cover songs before the academy graduation. They soon resumed their set afterward, despite a light drizzle of rain.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.