2018-11-30 / Front Page

NO PLACE FOR CRIME

Installation hosts National Night Out
Laura Levering
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


McGruff the Crime Dog doles out handshakes to a young community members during Fort Gordon’s National Night Out event held at the Law Enforcement Center Nov. 27. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office McGruff the Crime Dog doles out handshakes to a young community members during Fort Gordon’s National Night Out event held at the Law Enforcement Center Nov. 27. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Fort Gordon joined communities across the country in celebrating National Night Out last week.

The event was held at the Fort Gordon Law Enforcement Center Tuesday, marking its 35th anniversary.

National Night Out is an annual community building campaign that promotes policecommunity partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make communities a safer place to live.

“Nationwide, law enforcement agencies everywhere are stepping out with the communities to raise awareness and fellowship against crime,” said 1st Lt. Jade Messam, operations officer, 35th Military Police Detachment.

“More importantly, it sends a message to criminals that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back,” said Fort Gordon Chief of Police Richard Anderson. “It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors, first responders, and firefighters.”


Collin Schwartz (left), 5, and his brother Conner, 4, both of Fort Gordon, pose with 1st Lt. Jade Messam, operations officer, 35th Military Police Detachment, during the installation’s annual National Night Out on Nov. 27. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Collin Schwartz (left), 5, and his brother Conner, 4, both of Fort Gordon, pose with 1st Lt. Jade Messam, operations officer, 35th Military Police Detachment, during the installation’s annual National Night Out on Nov. 27. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Anderson was joined by Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Jim Clifford, where the two addressed a crowd that included Fort Gordon residents, local law enforcement, emergency personnel, and several Army Community Service personnel.

Clifford said that while law enforcement is vital in fighting crime, they cannot do it alone. It is a team effort that requires everyone to play a part.

“It’s something we do collectively, and certainly we look at you all as members of the community here to see something, to say something, and that allows our folks to get out there and deal with the situations as they occur,” Clifford said.


Staff Sgt. Derek Gregory, operations sergeant with 35th Military Police Detachment, assists Fort Gordon resident Jayauntae Daniels, 14, with putting on a breach kit. Gregory said that breach kits are typically used to breach locked doors, windows, and other obstacles allowing law enforcement to enter a structure or vehicle. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Staff Sgt. Derek Gregory, operations sergeant with 35th Military Police Detachment, assists Fort Gordon resident Jayauntae Daniels, 14, with putting on a breach kit. Gregory said that breach kits are typically used to breach locked doors, windows, and other obstacles allowing law enforcement to enter a structure or vehicle. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office He went on to say that Fort Gordon residents have the benefit of living inside a gated community, which has a direct impact on their safety and security.

“Our crime rates are lower than a lot of the outside communities, and that’s largely based on who you are as a cohort as far as our military and also by the great services we get here from emergency services,” Clifford said. “At the end of the day, one of the things that makes this military community great is the folks that live in it.”

Following remarks, Clifford read the Fort Gordon 2018 National Night Out Proclamation before presenting a copy Dana Wardell, Balfour Beatty Communities Life- Works coordinator.

“The 35th Annual National Night Out provides a unique opportunity for Fort Gordon, Georgia, to join forces with thousands of other communities across the country in promoting cooperative police-community crime prevention efforts and whereas the Directorate of Emergency Services plays a vital role in assisting the local law enforcement agencies through joint crime, violence, and drug prevention efforts ... and it is essential that citizens ... be aware of the importance of crime prevention programs and impact that their participation can have on reducing crime, drugs, and violence on Fort Gordon,” Clifford read.

The community was invited to stay a while to tour the LEC, chat with law enforcement officers, and partake in a variety of other activities. There were also several community partners giving out free gifts and information pertaining to safety and crime prevention.

Fort Gordon resident and den leader Areka Schwartz participated in activities with a group of children from Fort Gordon Cub Scout Pack 345. Schwartz said the event was a good opportunity to expose the scouts to a different side of law enforcement.

“They always see the police officers in their cruisers, but they never know where they go or any of the other ‘behind the scenes stuff,’” Schwartz said.

As the mother of two young children, Schwartz said she feels safe on Fort Gordon and appreciates what law enforcement do.

“My kids go to Freedom Park, and I really love that there is the same officer out there every day making sure that everyone is getting across the street ... he recognizes the kids and acknowledges them as they walk by.”

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