As in many communities Tuesday, Martinsville residents and law enforcement officers met at the Uptown Martinsville Farmers’ Market to mark the 39th Annual National Night Out event.
“This is what it’s all about, the police and community coming together to show there’s a force against crime in the communities,” Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady said. “We take every opportunity we can to enhance our relationship with the citizens. Our citizens help us so much with crime control and prevention in our neighborhoods.”
Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored by the Martinsville Police Department, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that is intended to strengthen police-community partnerships, increase
awareness of crime and drug prevention, and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are mobilized and fighting back against crime.
An announcement from the police department invited residents to “lock their doors, turn on porch lights, and spend the evening with their neighbors.”
Noting that the pandemic had restrained some of the one-on-one contact with residents, Cassady said National Night Out helps reestablish this vital contact. He commended Martinsville residents for their willingness to always support the police.
The department’s proactive approach to crime reduction as “intelligence lead policing,” Cassady said, adding that the department constantly monitors its patrols to know where crimes are being committed and what crimes are being committed. The two combined are incorporated into efforts to further prevent crime.
Officers also want to be a resource and help residents in other matters,
particularly what he referred to as “quality of life issues,” such as improper yard maintenance, which could include issues like grass that needs to be mowed.
A booth at the event featured free booklets offering tips on how citizens can prevent crime, including activities books and engaging reading material for children that demonstrates how they also can help reduce crime.
Martinsville Police Officer Coretha Gravely, who has long aided the department in its community policing efforts, said she enjoys helping youngsters and seniors in the community. Gravely was among many officers attending the event.