National Night Out observed in FranklinPublished 2:45pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013
FRANKLIN—On Tuesday night, the residents of Gardner Street took a night to give back to those who give all year long.
The Franklin departments of police and fire and rescue were on hand for food and fellowship.
“The importance of this is to show support to our City of Franklin police officers and fire fighters — we’ve got a lot of admiration for them and what they do for us,” said Berkley Neighborhood Watch Chairman Frank Davis, of Gardner Street. “They also provide us with information of what is going on in our community.”
Etha Fulton, of Gardner Street, said the camaraderie of events like National Night Out is important.
“It brings people together,” she said. “I think that is a nice thing.”
Junius McClenny, of Gay Street, also thought the fellowship was something that helps the community be better.
“I think it is wonderful for everyone to come together,” McClenny said. “You get to know people, and what they look like.”
Clarence Peoples, of Gardner Street, the Chaplain of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch, said that they wanted to hold the event this past year, but the chairman, Davis, was not able to make it, so they held it off.
“Last year it fell on the night of a tennis match. The chairman is big into tennis, and we thought he should be here if we did it,” said Peoples of Davis. “This year, we told him we were going to do the National Night Out if we had to tie him to a chair.”
Peoples said neighborhood watches are important for the community.
“You are less likely to commit a crime when you think people are watching you,” Peoples said. “We care about the community here, and help serve as eyes for the police officers.”
Davis said the neighborhood watch has taught him to be more watchful, even during the day.
“I was on my way to play tennis one day, and I saw a crime happening right in front of my eyes but I didn’t realize it,” Davis said. “I’m one of those nonchalant people who thinks everyone is good, and crime doesn’t happen in the day.
“But I saw a car in a members yard, and at first I didn’t realize it was a crime, but later, he told me some people broke into his house and took some things. Once I figured out it was on the day that I was driving by, I was like, I had my camera and I could have gotten the license. The police officer who comes to our meetings told me he bet I’d be more observant next time.”
Several officers and firefighters participated, but none of them ranked high enough to offer a comment to The Tidewater News.