ASCO visits county neighborhoods for National Night Out

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NATCHEZ — Eating seven suppers in one day might seem gluttonous to some, but Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield did what he had to for the neighbors who coordinated National Night Out festivities Tuesday.

A table lined with pimento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs and other southern treats didn’t last long as law enforcement and citizens alike filled their plates and mingled along Traceway Drive — the ACSO’s first 15-minute stop of the evening.

A long caravan of ACSO vehicles with lights and sirens going entered the neighborhood shortly after 5 p.m.

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“This is my first National Night Out as sheriff, and last year (the event) was at one central location,” Mayfield said. “This year, we came to the neighborhoods because after we’re gone, the neighbors can continue to talk and get to know each other.

“And there’s always good food.”

National Night Out, now in its 27th year, is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anti-crime programs and strengthen police-community partnerships, according to its official Web site.

Mayfield said National Night Out also serves to strengthen and sustain relationships among neighbors.

“Obviously for us, neighbors are our eyes and ears. They see things that we don’t,” Mayfield said. “It’s important to look out for your neighbors.”

As Mayfield and ACSO deputies and investigators departed for their second stop on Providence Road, neighbors along Traceway Drive continued the festivities.

Marie McCall moved to Natchez from Jackson three years ago and founded the Neighborhood Watch Program on Traceway Drive in January.

“When I moved here, I realized we didn’t have a Neighborhood Watch Program, and we needed one for our area,” McCall said. “All the neighbors are so excited about it.”

Among those excited neighbors are Carol Bonner and Kaye Vestal, who applauded McCall for her efforts.

“We think this is so wonderful,” Bonner said. “I’ve wanted to meet the neighbors for so long out here, and we need to take care of each other.”

Ray and Kitty Simpson also credited the ACSO for its part in National Night Out and Neighborhood Watch.

“We’ve got to get back to the time when neighbors knew each other and helped each other out,” Kitty Simpson said.

“We’re glad to see the sheriff’s department out here,” Ray Simpson said. “This is great for our neighborhood.”

The Natchez Police Department, Vidalia Police Department, Ferriday Police Department and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in National Night Out, making 15-minute stops in neighborhoods throughout the Miss-Lou.