Pelham celebrates National Night Out

Published 2:16 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM –  The unmistakable chop of helicopter blades filled the air as a medevac helicopter landed in Pelham City Park on Tuesday, Oct. 3 as Pelham’s National Night Out officially kicked off.

National Night Out is a community event that allows citizens to meet their neighbors and get to know local first responders. Millions of people from hundreds of cities throughout the United States celebrate the event.

National Night Out started in 1981 when it was established in Pennsylvania by Matt Peskin. A longtime member of his local community watch, Peskin wanted to build a better sense of trust and community between local law enforcement, first responders and the communities they served. 

“The city of Pelham began participating in National Night Out in 2016,” Pelham Police Chief Brent Sugg said. “The city of Pelham and the Pelham Police Department fully support the mission and spirit of National Night Out. This event has grown significantly over the years, and we look forward to enjoying a time of food and fellowship with the citizens we serve.”

This year’s national night out was marked by participation from multiple branches of local law enforcement. Residents were able to go from stall to stall and learn about everything from Pelham’s bomb dogs to the local FBI chapter’s ability to take molds of shoe prints and tire tracks.

Along with Pelham’s different law enforcement organizations, EMS also attended the event and the fire department, who provided information about car safety and the hazards of texting while driving. 

 “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Pelham Police Department to demonstrate all aspects of public safety,” Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid said.

As part of their presentation, the fire department placed a variety of crashed cars on display to provide a more visual demonstration of the dangers of distracted driving,

“One of these should be put in front of every high school in the nation,” one Pelham resident said.

National Night Out was well attended, with many Pelham residents of all ages coming out to support local first responders. The Church of the Highlands Riverchase Campus and First Baptist Church Pelham also provided a free hotdog dinner to attendees.

Pelham’s national night out ran from 6 to 8 p.m. and was attended by several hundred Pelham residents.