Roanoke prepares for National Night Out

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 9:49 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Many people only interact with law enforcement and first responders when there’s an emergency.

“Unfortunately we tend to meet people on the worst day of their life,” said Deputy Chief David Guynn of Roanoke Fire-EMS.

“We want citizens to know that when law enforcement shows up, it doesn’t mean that it’s always something bad,” said Tameka Paige, public information officer and community relations specialist for the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office.

Each August, communities gather for National Night Out. Giving law enforcement and emergency agencies the chance to connect with residents.

“This is an opportunity for people to see that we’re just normal people. We want to do a job but our job happens to be fire and ems and rescue but we’re really just like anybody else,” said Guynn.

“We are everyday folk. We just want to come out, everyone be at ease and embrace each other and have a good time,” said Paige.

But it’s also about building new relationships and strengthening others.

“You want to set the foundation. So that if something does happen, when you pick up the phone, you don’t feel like it’s wrong to say, hey, I need someone to come, or, hey, I want to give you some information. We just want to make sure that we tighten that relationship between law enforcement and the community,” said Paige.

“We can also get an opportunity to talk to the community, and understand what their concerns are, and let them know what we do and that we’re here to help,” said Guynn.

The departments are hoping this is the best year yet and both Roanoke Fire-EMS and the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office plan to have representatives at all 15 locations. A full list of the 15 locations can be found below:

Greater Grandview Area Neighborhood Potluck Huff Lane Park Picnic Pavilion - 4412 Huff Lane NW, 6-8:30pm

Old Southwest OSW NNO Celebration at Alexander Gish House - 641 Walnut Ave SW, 6-8pm

Noble Neighborhood Watch NNO Block Party - 2008 Colgate St. NE, 6-8pm

Old Mountain Road NNO Block Party - Cup St NE between Pennsylvania Ave NE and Long Acre Dr NE, 6-8pm

Wasena Neighborhood NNO Celebration at The Green Goat - 802 Wiley Dr SW, 6-8pm

Neighbors of South Roanoke NNO Celebration at the Fire Station, 5:30-7pm

Fairland Civic Organization Annual Neighborhood Block Party & Fish Fry in vacant lots at intersections of Fairland Road & Kirkland Dr NW, 6-8pm

Greater Williamson Rd Business Association Party in the Parking Lot - 3501 Williamson Rd NW, 4-8pm

Hill Street Baptist Church - Gazebo at The Villages of Lincoln Terrace, 4:30-7:30pm

Villa Heights NNO Celebration - Villa Heights Park NW, 6-8pm

RHHA NNO Block Party - Jamestown, 5-7pm

Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization, Inc. & One Valley Inc.

EnVision Center / Horton Park, 5-8pm

Morningside Manor Lawn Party, 5-7pm

Mt. Pleasant Lions Club & Riverdale Farm Neighborhood Association at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, 6:30-8:30pm

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