Friday, August 08, 2014

National Night Out: Raising crime, drug prevention awareness base-wide

by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

8/7/2014 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Fairchild Airmen came out in full force for the 31st Annual National Night Out celebration here Aug. 5.

The event is held across the country to help prevent crime and drugs from entering "our" neighborhoods.

"In the spirit of integrated defense, every Airman is a sensor, and that goes for their families as well," said Staff Sgt. Denine Deal, the 92nd Security Forces Squadron police services NCO in charge. "The information available to Airmen and their families during National Night Out has been extremely beneficial in the past and continues today, making our base a safer and friendlier installation for all of Team Fairchild."

During the "block party" in Miller Park, Balfour Beatty provided hamburgers and hot dogs, free of charge, asking families bring a dish to share with their neighbors. Installation helping agencies made a showing with booths, flyers, goodies and Airmen explaining their importance in the base community. The event was also host to many games, play areas and bounce houses for children, as well as a water play station and a special military working dogs demonstration.

"The kids and I learned a lot about the services offered by the base and the incredible support for Airmen, especially for their families," said Kati Rumsey, wife of Capt. Joshua Rumsey, a 336th Training Group chaplain.

The national event is designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, strengthen neighborhood spirit and build partnerships with the police force. Rumsey said it was a great way to get to know their neighbors as well as meet directly with community advisors from Balfour Beatty and wing leadership.

"Events like these are great for newcomers like us to get out, meet our neighbors and learn more about our new base," she said. "The kids had a great time, and we look forward to more events like National Night Out."

National Night Out was organized by the 92nd Security Forces Squadron in cooperation with Spokane County Neighborhood Watch, Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane County Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Effort and Balfour Beatty Communities. Fairchild's participation in NNO dates back for more than a decade and according to Deal, the base's involvement won't be changing any time soon.

"We're really trying to put an emphasis on community awareness," Deal said. "This awareness has a lasting impact on our community, both on and off base. One person can make a huge impact and save a life today."

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