Vinton celebrates National Night Out

Representative Bob Goodlatte stopped by the National Night Out celebration in Vinton on August 1. Shown left to right are Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angie Chewning, Bootie Chewning, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Vinton Police Chief Tom Foster, and Vinton Mayor Brad Grose.
Children like Kaidence Stores were treated to some extravagant face painting at National Night Out.
The Vinton Police Department brought along its new Mobile Services Community Unit, designed for community outreach events. Shown left to right are Vinton Planning and Zoning Director Anita McMillan, Sgt. Michael Caldwell, Chief Tom Foster, and Lt. Glenn Austin.

The Vinton Police Department celebrated National Night Out along with other law enforcement agencies and communities across the country on August 1. The Vinton event was held at the Charles R. Hill Senior Center at the Vinton War Memorial.

There was free pizza, free ice cream, and kettle corn. There was music by Steve FM, a bouncy house, corn hole, and some very extravagant face painting.

Vinton Police Chief Tom Foster and Mayor Brad Grose welcomed Representative Bob Goodlatte and Delegate Chris Head to the event. Members of town council, town staff, and the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce mingled with local citizens and Neighborhood Watch groups.

Vinton’s police, fire department, and first aid drew were there with their vehicles. The police officers showcased their new Mobile Services Community Unit purchased with a grant from the Department of Criminal Justice. The unit is designated for community outreach activities such as National Night Out, special events, and neighborhood visits with an emphasis on community policing.

National Night Out has been observed across the nation since 1984, traditionally on the first Tuesday in August, representing America’s “night out against crime.” The purpose is to encourage community and public safety partnerships, especially between communities and their police departments, because a “connected community is a safer community.”

Vinton Town Council generally cancels its first meeting in August to take part in National Night Out and to take the opportunity to meet informally with citizens.

The annual event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and involves citizens, law enforcement, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and local officials. Last year an estimated 38 million individuals in the United States, Canada, and on military bases around the world participated.