South Tallahassee Hosts National Night Out Celebration
By Courtney Harris
Tallahassee residents have had enough. They are choosing to band together to stop the crime in the city.
For the first time, on Aug. 4 at Jack McClean, Jr. Recreational Center, the Southside Tallahassee Neighborhood hosted the “National Night Out” celebration.
National Night Out is an annual celebration for most cities; however, this was the first time South Tallahassee hosted the event.
Hundreds of people from all over the city gathered, creating a unified front against crime.
The event was a community building campaign promoting healthy partnerships between police and the communities to make the city safer.
With food and entertainment and information the evening was deemed “a going away party for crime.”
City Commissioner Curtis Richardson explained the reason for the occasion was to get the community involved in the crime prevention process.
“We are here to tell the criminal element we want you out,” said Richardson.
Sponsors like Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) and ADT Security Systems were present giving out information and according to Jacquelyn Hayes, an ADT Representative, making the community safer includes taking the necessary precautions in protecting your home as well.
“We (ADT) love partnerships like this because we have the chance to get involved with the community and show them how affordable home security can be,” said Hayes.
Safety doesn’t just include protecting your home or your belongings. It also means getting children off of the street.
“CCYS is a local affiliate to Safe Place which will provide shelter for homeless youth in the city, and we have a convenient new text feature,” said Jess Tharpe, CCYS outreach and development director.
The text feature includes sending “SAFE” and your location to 69866 and a child in need will immediately be contacted by a CCYS representative. “We want to make getting our city’s youth out of harm’s way even easier,” said Tharpe.
Safety doesn’t just include protecting your home or your belongings. It also means getting the youth, who may be turning to crime as a means to survive, off the streets.
Richardson, a Southside Tallahassee resident, is looking forward to developing a community policing model to ward off crime and help those in the community remain aware.
He is encouraging community members to speak out, and if they know of a crime not to hesitate in getting the police involved.
“We need you,” Richardson exclaimed, emphasizing how vital it is to have these efforts supported by the community because “the police cannot do it alone, we need to be the ambassadors.”