Neighborhoods throughout Newberry County are invited to join over 38 million neighbors across 16 thousand communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide for National Night Out on August 2.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work.

The following agencies are set to be involved in this year’s event: Newberry Police Department, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism, City of Newberry Fire Department, Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking, Newberry County Animal Care and Control, South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the Department of Natural Resources, and the National Guard.

Held in Mollohon Park, 211 Player Street in Newberry, the event will be from 6-8 p.m.

Nationwide, this is the 39th annual National Night Out. The event is sponsored nationally by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). The City of Newberry has held its own National Night Out event beginning in 2011.

Organizing this year’s event for the Newberry Police Department are Sergeant Will Bouknight and Sergeant Caitlin Branch. This event, they said is not only to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, but to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness and to generate support for, and participation in local anticrime efforts.

Many familiar games and activities will be provided this year to include the dunking booth, bounce house, as well as activities with the Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism department’s mobile recreation vehicle. Other vendors from the community will also be present to give out information.

New to this year’s event is a video game trailer, sponsored by the National Guard and a boat simulator, sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  

Little Caesars pizza will be available for those who attend as well as popcorn, snow cones at no cost.

“Buddy cards” will be back again this year for children to get signed by local agencies in order to participate in the annual ping-pong ball drop. This event usually takes place towards the end of the night, followed by closing remarks.

Police Chief Kevin Goodman said that National Night Out was another great opportunity for police and the community to come together in a positive environment, enjoy each other and strengthen their relationship.

“Please come out and let’s work together to get this village back in order,” he said.

It is undetermined at this time, Branch said as to if there will be a shuttle for community transportation. However, if a shuttle is secured, this information will be posted on the City of Newberry’s National Night Out event page on Facebook. Closer to the event, those interested in potential shuttle service may contact the Newberry Police Department at 803-321-1010 for any updates.

 Sergeant Will Bouknight signs a “buddy card” at last year’s National Night Out event.