Long County held its annual National Night Out on Thursday at the Long County Recreation Complex.
The event, in its second year in Long County, was sponsored by the Long County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Craig Nobles welcomed everyone and said the event was designed to bring citizens and law enforcement together in an effort to help fight and prevent crime.
“It’s all about our neighborhoods and our families. We want to know each of you and we want you to know us,” he said.
The sheriff said that this year’s theme was “See Something, Say Something.”
“We all have to work together. If you see something that don’t look right at your neighbors or in your neighborhood, call us and we’ll be on our way,” Nobles said.
He said the most effective way to fight crime was for citizens and law enforcement to work together. He told everyone that when they went home, they were to turn on their porch lights to show that they were a part of the team fighting crime in Ludowici and Long County.
There was plenty to do at the Night Out with free hot dogs and drinks provided to everyone. Activities included a Kid’s Land with several bounce houses, face painting, a dunk tank and a fire-safety house.
In addition, there also were several demonstrations from different public-safety organizations.
Canine expert Sgt. Dale Kirkland of the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office and LCSO Deputy Levin Tomlinson gave a presentation on how a specially trained police dog can disable an attacker. Kirkland unleashed a German shepherd and it “attacked” Tomlinson, who was wearing an arm guard. Tomlinson was protected, but the dog left puncture holes throughout the padding.
Law-enforcement officers from the Ludowici Police Department and the LCSO gave a presentation on how a Taser thwarts an attacker. Nobles told the crowd that a Taser put out 50,000 volts of energy to an attacker when it strikes them and the blast lasts for five seconds. He said that, in most cases, an attacker will drop from one blast, but if they do not, a second or third shock can be applied. He also said that all law-enforcement officers who are certified to carry a Taser must be shocked themselves to teach them prudence in using the weapon.
This year, there was only one officer, Deputy David Horton, who needed to be certified. Three firefighters from the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department volunteered to be shocked, too. As each person felt the prongs enter their back, each fell to the ground, grimacing in pain. Fortunately, all survived their ordeal, so now they will be able to watch others go through the pain during future certifications.
Long County Board of Education Chairman Janet Watford attended the night and praised the event’s organizers and attendees.
“This is wonderful, and what a turnout,” Watford said. “The sheriff’s department and all who helped did a great job in putting this together.”
Since the first National Night Out in 1984, according to natw.org, the night has grown to have over 16,000 communities participate with over 37 million people attending the events.
Nobles said that Thursday’s event was better than last year and that he hopes it continues to grow. He also said that he appreciated all the people who attended the night and, especially, the sponsors and volunteers who helped organize it.