The Hinesville Police Department (HPD) hosted their annual National Night Out on August 6. The event was held at Bradwell Park this year and was attended by multiple businesses and groups who sought to promote themselves and show their support for the police. The National Night Out is just one of the HPD’s initiatives to bring the community closer with the department. It is meant to both show a friendlier side to the police and provide information on safety and on programs such as Project Lifesaver.
HPD Community Resource Officer, Kevin Remillard, spoke about the importance of public and police relations. “The community wants to know that the police department’s there to support it,” he said in an interview with Courier correspondent Lewis Levine. “And we want to enlist as much support from the community as possible.”
Remillard spoke about wanting the community of Hinesville to understand that there was more to HPD than the seriousness officers showed while conducting traffic stops and responding to emergencies. He hoped that citizens understand that there are multiple layers to first responders and that officers are capable of having fun.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) was out as well, as they are every year, convincing people to become advocates of children in foster care. They handed out informative pamphlets and attracted children and their families with a plastic bowling game. Target had a game of “Pin the badge on the police officer” and handed out rainbow colored lollipops. A booth attendant stated how it was important to support the HPD and how they come out every year for that reason.
The event was an overall success with dozens of families showing up. Children were able to make their own cookies at a HPD booth. They had cotton candy as well which the children ate as they stood in line to have their shot at the HPD’s dunk tank. There were also a lot of children eager to play in the provided bounce house, and even more who begged their parents to allow them to pet Charlie, the bloodhound recently acquired by the Sheriff’s Office.
Mother of three boys and military spouse, Jessica Mickelson, said that she’d heard of the event on Facebook. New to the area, she thought that it would be a good source of entertainment for her kids, who had fun competing against one another in tin can bowling provided by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Students of Columbia College, who were previously planning on doing their own back-to-school event, had three booths set up. According to student, Andre Oliver, one booth was dedicated to teaching children about personal hygiene, while another taught them good manners. Their third booth gave free haircuts, compliments of a Kevin Murray.