GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It was an evening of food, fun and for some, fireworks, too.
National Night Out was celebrated in many ways around Eastern North Carolina on Tuesday. The event, now in its 40th year, gives law enforcement the chance to meet, talk and interact with the community in a variety of ways.
People enjoyed all kinds of food trucks, had some fun and got to meet those who protect and serve on a daily basis. In Jacksonville, they enjoyed fireworks to cap off the night. In Ayden, people got the chance to drench officers in a dunk tank. In Grimesland, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office moved activities inside for those who came out.
“Once we take off the badge and go home, we’re just regular people,” Lenoir County Sheriff Jackie Rogers said while in attendance at Kinston’s National Night Out. “And that’s the way I am as Sheriff, I’m just a regular person. I’m approachable, I try to talk to everybody. I want everybody to come and talk to me.”
Kinston Police Chief Keith Goyette also got the chance to be dunked in an attempt to win a bicycle. Tuesday wasn’t as hot and, later in the evening, a heavy downpour covered Grainger Stadium, site of the NNO. Still, people got the chance to enjjoy themselves and get to know the men and women who protect them.
“If we can establish a relationship with our community members, and we can build that trust and then we can learn to trust each other, and then it someone knows about a crime, see a crime, they’ll let us know,” Goyette said.