‘Night Out’ celebrated

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2002

Suffolk Police Sergeant Tim Duncan and members of the Community Services Sector of Suffolk Police Department joined several other city officials Tuesday evening in a special &uot;Open House on Crime Prevention.&uot;

As Duncan said, the open house on crime prevention is part of the Suffolk Police Department’s &uot;National Crime Prevention Month&uot; anti-crime initiatives.

&uot;The goal of the open house is to arm our local people with the tools necessary to help reduce crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens of Suffolk,&uot; said Duncan. &uot;This goal will be attained through open discussions, educational resources and partnerships with the people we serve. We are here tonight, to provide answers to any questions you have about crime prevention in your neighborhoods.&uot;

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The event took place at the National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard, and although the weather provided one of those &uot;cold, dark nights,&uot; a few souls braved the elements to cross town for the open house.

Each of them came, some with children, to learn more about many services available in Suffolk, and also to learn about eradicating crime in their neighborhoods.

Duncan served as host for the evening, introducing such notables as Diane Bryant, director of Suffolk’s &uot;Victim/Witness Program,&uot; and Annie Ward, supervisor of &uot;Child Protective Services&uot; for the city.

Janice Holland, assistant superintendent for Suffolk Public Schools, was also on hand to provide information about several new programs being initiated by the school system.

Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, C. Phillips Ferguson came to the event armed with plenty of informative pamphlets to enlighten the public about the legal system and how it can work for local citizens.

Ferguson and Diana Klink, Ferguson’s community outreach coordinator, brought along additional information about the many programs available to help citizens through the Commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

A.P. Bremer, special investigator for the Commonwealth’s attorney, came to the event in the &uot;EXILE&uot; car to promote that program.

EXILE targets the illegal use or possession of handguns and advises that anyone in possession of guns and drugs faces a mandatory five years in prison, for instance. Also, anyone in possession of a gun on school property is exiled to prison for five years.

Bremer drives the EXILE vehicle in performance of his duties and it helps promote the program wherever he goes because, as he said, people always question him about the EXILE logo.

As for law enforcement, the Police Department’s Command Staff at the event included Chief of Police William A. Freeman, Deputy Chief Major Richard Hurd, Commander Sector 1, Captain Larry Wilson, and Commander Sector II, Captain William Cochran.

Parents with children who attended the event were invited to have the children fingerprinted in the American Red Cross-Suffolk Chapter’s &uot;Kid Care&uot; child identification Program.&uot; The fingerprints are placed on a small card with other identifying features of the child and given to the parents to have in the event the child goes missing.

Once the presentations were completed, those attending the meeting were invited to ask questions about the programs.

The open house was also set to celebrate the fact that Suffolk was named the national winner in the &uot;National Night Out&uot; crime, drug and violence prevention program. This year marked the second consecutive the city has taken the award for cities of our size across the nation.

Winning the award was attributed by Duncan to the hundreds of citizens who volunteered to help put together National Night Out, an event that educates people on how to prevent crime in their neighborhoods.

Across the city, people came together in numerous neighborhoods to share ideas and talk with police officers and other city personnel on a variety of issues.

Anyone who would like more information on becoming a volunteer for National Night Out or obtaining more information about any of these programs is invited to call the Community Services Section of the Police Department at 923-2355.