Turnout huge at law enforcement event | NevadaAppeal.com

Turnout huge at law enforcement event

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Brandon Akers, 13, looks down from a wooden 20-foot tripod Tuesday afternoon at Chris Fili, 1st vice-commander of Carson City Search and Rescue, during the National Night Out event at Mills Park. Kevin Clifford/ Nevada Appeal
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Mills Park was hopping Tuesday night and a carnival wasn’t the lure, free hot dogs and the chance to mingle with law enforcement was.

“This is probably the best turnout we’ve had in three years,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong of National Night Out.

The first and second years the turnout was modest, but that was made up for threefold Tuesday when scores of Carson City residents filled the city’s largest public park and stopped by some of the events 42 booths. From the National Guard to the Capitol Police, the District Attorney’s Office to anti-methamphetamine coalition “Partnership Carson City,” all law enforcement agencies within the capital city were accounted for.

This year’s event was entitled “Take your stand against meth,” and the theme was evident in the hundreds of T-shirts and rubber bracelets stamped, “Meth is Death,” donned by the masses.

Lisa Allen and her children, Christine, 10 and Nicholas 5, moved to Carson a year ago from Iowa to be closer to family. She saw the picnic as a way to meet her neighbors.

“We’re just experiencing what’s here in Carson City,” she said.

Her children took part in the Carson City Fire Department’s fire safety house demonstration and didn’t miss the opportunity to launch into the jump house. Both kids had collected bags full of loot from the various organizations.

“I have a really ugly car and I’ve got about five bumper stickers in that bag,” she said. “I’m going to be a traveling advertisement!”

Furlong said the event was the perfect catalyst for parents to talk to their kids about drugs. Several of the booths displayed illegal drugs and their hazards. He said he often saw children pulling their parents over to look at pictures that showed the affects of methamphetamine use on a person’s appearance.

“What a great way to initiate the conversation in the house,” he said.

For Cody Lee, 13, National Night Out was interesting, but not all that big of a deal. He was mostly interested in trying out the Search and Rescue booth with a rope ascending display, but as soon as he and three friends got to the front of the line, they shut the display down.

Cody, 13, had a typical teenage response to the question, “What do you think of this event?”

“It’s the most awesomest thing ever,” he said with a freckled sneer.

Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out involves more than 10,000 communities from all 50 states, as well as some Canadian cities and military bases around the world.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

IF YOU GO

What: Search and Rescue’s Second Annual Community Cook Out

When: Aug. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Mills Park’s covered picnic area on the east side of the park

Cost: Adults $5, children $3.