By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
The Front Royal Police Department hosted National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7, from 6-9 PM in the Gazebo area of East Main Street in historic downtown Front Royal.
National Night Out is a crime prevention initiative celebrated across the nation, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored by the Front Royal Police Department. The Front Royal Police Foundation sponsored the band “Souled Out,” who played the entire evening. After some pretty avant-garde chromatic tuning that Souled Out band members seemed to be jamming with at times, the Warren County High School Band opened the festivities at 6 PM with the national anthem and some rah-rah music to get everyone going.
The event is seen as promoting a strengthening of the law enforcement-community partnership bond. And it was great to see FRPD Officer Bryan Courtney with son Nathan and wife Cindy at the event. Courtney looked great, with just a few remaining facial bruises and a patched thumb about 10 days after being attacked by a suspect while responding to reports of someone exposing themselves to passing motorists on the northside of town on July 28.
It seemed to us an especially successful event, perhaps with community awareness of the importance of local law enforcement and that community-police relationship brought to the forefront of everyone’s mind by Sgt. Courtney’s encounter with a large and possibly intoxicated or unstable suspect.
Over 60 vendors engaged in family safety education with lessons in stranger danger, Neighborhood Watch, safe casting with fishing equipment and safe food handling; not to mention feeding hungry people from stands including Two Fat Butchers BBQ and Tony T’s Apple Farm strudels and more … mmmm, food. There were also free McGruff backpacks for the first 200 children to visit the VIPS booth.
Target, a national sponsor, had lessons in bicycle safety and gave away a bicycle and document shredding was available by TrueShred to help keep your affairs secret – and prevent identity theft.
Among those addressing the crowd were Front Royal Mayor Tim Darr, FRPD Chief Richard Furr, who is retiring at the end of the month, 26th District State Senator Mark Obenshain, FRPD Community Relations Specialist Janice Hart, among others. – AND Souled Out got everyone on the good foot (even if only in their minds).