MINT HILL, NC – On Tuesday, October 5, the Mint Hill Police Department celebrated National Night Out!
Part of a nationwide, annual campaign to to bring police together with neighbors and community organizations in a positive and fun atmosphere, National Night Out promotes community-police partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie with the goal of making our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. This year, Urban Air Adventure Park hosted the police department and other local community partners in their parking lot.
“We’re partnered with the Mint Hill Police to do National Night Out, a free event for the public,” said Urban Air Marketing Director Sarah Fabian. “We’re doing lots of giveaways, lots of raffles. We have other people from the community here to share it with us. We’re trying to bring the community together because we’re stronger together.”
Everyone was invited to “spin the wheel” and win some great prizes ranging from free basic jump passes to soccer balls courtesy of both Urban Air and the police department. Urban Air also provided free hot dogs and popcorn and passed out cookies donated by Subway. Indoors, in conjunction with National Night Out, Urban Air held a “Spirit Night” with 10% of jump passes purchased going to Servant’s Heart. “We’re all about kids here at Urban Air,” said Owner Chris Fasulk, “and this is all about kids,” he added. “We just really want to be more in the community around here.”
Urban Air’s parking lot neighbor, Chekmat NC, joined in the fun with live martial arts demonstrations. The studio not only offers Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for all ages and skill levels; they also host the “adopt-a-cop” program that allows for officers to train free for two years.
“I want all the officers doing this so they have something else to defend themselves with besides lethal force,” said Checkmat Owner Patrick Culbertson, adding that the event was a great opportunity to let the public know they’re here. “We’re really trying to grow our kids’ program. We have kids from four years old up through adults, any age, any skill level.”
“We want to work with as many police officers as we can just for their self-defense,” says DHXF Training Owner Daniel Beaupre, who runs 5:30 am and pm boot camps at Checkmat. “Living here in Mint Hill, you get to know all the officers. It’s just kind of cool. They’re all great guys, and they’re all out there protecting us, so the least we can do is offer something for them as well.”
Representatives from several advocacy and support organizations were on-site to educate the public and answer questions: the District Attorney’s Office and Mecklenburg County Sherriff’s Office; Be SMART, an educational program that promotes responsible gun ownership with the goal of reducing child gun deaths; and Safe Alliance, an organization that provides hope and healing for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dale Dalton and Commissioner Patrick Holton both attended the event in support of Mint Hill’s officers. “We have one of the finest police departments around,” said Holton, “We do anything that we can to come out here and show them support. We don’t get to see them all, so it’s kind of a cool night, to be able to actually see some of these officers that we haven’t had an opportunity to meet and see what they do.”
For the police, the night represented a chance to make the police accessible to the community in a low-stakes, fun environment. “It’s the same thing I keep preaching over and over!” said Cheif Hatley. “We just want to let people know we’re here, committed and invested in our Town!”