Community, law enforcement unite at Pelham’s National Night Out

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

PELHAM – The Pelham Police Department’s second National Night Out was a hit among residents. Ballantrae residents Jennifer and Peter Genereux said the event was a great way for children to meet and learn about local law enforcement.

The event was held in the Publix parking lot from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

In addition to the PPD and Pelham Fire Department, the Alabama State Troopers, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and other city, state and federal agencies were at the event. Children were allowed to sit in law enforcement vehicles, turn on the sirens and lights and talk on the car speakers.

The even included free food and drinks and inflatables for kids to play in.

“This is a great family event,” Jennifer Genereux said. “It really helps kids get to know our first responders and it helps them to not be afraid of them if they ever encounter them in an emergency situation.”

The couple attended the event with their young twins, a boy and a girl.

“Our daughter loved sitting in the police car and seeing the fire truck, and our son really liked seeing the drone flying above,” Peter Genereux said. “We will definitely be back next year.”

Angel Wiley, of Hayden, said she loved that her sons could interact and talk to the law enforcement officers.

“It helps children realize that they’re regular people that they can speak to,” she said.

“It also lets kids know that they’re safe around police officers and that they’re not bad,” said Wiley’s 11-year-old son Ulrich.

Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer said the event is intended to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“We are seeing positive changes in the community and that’s a great feeling,” Palmer said. “Our community works with us and that’s wonderful because I know it’s not that way in other cities in our state and country.”

Palmer was pleased with the turnout for the event. He said the crowd at this year’s event surpassed last year’s within the first hour.

“I love this event and I’m so glad that we’re able to do this for the community,” he said.