The 35th annual "National Night Out" will be hosted by Huntsville Police Tuesday evening, and people who live throughout Madison County are encouraged to attend the multi-agency event. The purpose of the event is to teach Madison County residents how to be proactive in their community and to give them a glimpse into what local enforcement does.
The event will be held at the old Grissom High School off of Bailey Cove Road in south Huntsville. WAAY 31 learned that a big part of the event is to celebrate the community watch and explain how volunteers are keeping the community safe.
"You can do it walking your dog, you can do it coming and going from work, you can do it just taking your afternoon walk if that's what you like to do," said Rheajoela Caldwell. "As long as you remember: if you see something, say something."
Caldwell has been a part of Huntsville's community watch for about 16 years and, during that time, she's helped catch criminals. On Tuesday, Huntsville Police will thank people like Caldwell who help them do their job.
"They give countless voluntary hours to the department every year," said Sgt. Tony McElyea with Huntsville Police. "It's our chance to celebrate them and say goodbye to crime."
The event isn't only for community watch---but for everyone who lives in the area. Police are providing free food and information for the entire community to teach them more about what police do and how to get involved in programs like community watch.
"We want to be in every community, but we can't be," McElyea said. "It's not feasible to be--given it's 250 square miles in Huntsville."
And Caldwell explained to WAAY 31 just how easy it is to become an active part of your community.
"Living in your neighborhood, you know who belongs, how things are supposed to look. If you're keeping an eye out on that and you notice something suspicious or something changes then you can call the police, and they will come out and take care of it," Caldwell said.
The "National Night Out" event will last from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.