Law enforcement agencies connect with public at NNO

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

Law enforcement agencies from around the county gathered in the Alabaster Target parking lot on Aug. 7.

The reason for the gathering wasn’t a drug bust or an arrest. Rather, it was National Night Out, an annual crime/drug prevention event held across the country on the same day.

The event attracted multiple agencies, including, the Pelham, Helena and Alabaster police department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Marshals, FBI and others.

Pelham Police Officer Trey Pitts said the event allowed the law enforcement agencies to connect directly with community members.

Pitts and fellow Officer Todd McCain used the time to educate local parents about child car seat laws. He said many parents haven’t properly installed their car seat or chose a seat that is not the right size for their child.

“If you’ve got a car seat and it’s not installed properly, it’s doesn’t do you any good,” McCain said.

In addition to learning about the law at the PPD’s booth, Pitts said parents can have their car seats inspected at the department to make sure they are installed properly.

The Helena Police Department was also on hand to recruit teenagers to join its Police Explorers program. The group, which currently has about 10 members, is an educational program aimed at teenagers who are interested in serving in law enforcement in the future.

“Once they’ve been in for a while and they’re 16 years old, they can do ride-alongs,” Helena Officer Brandon Myers said.

Law enforcement agencies weren’t the only groups represented at National Night Out. Other booths included a tornado safety booth and Safe House. Children’s activities and food vendors were also present.

Aletta Flores attended National Night Out with her two young daughters. She said they were in the area and decided to attend the event. She said the event provided many useful services, including finger printing for children and Yellow Dot enrollment.

For more information about National Night Out, visit