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Community, public safety unite for National Night Out



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The community came out Oct.3 to thank local law enforcement agencies and to learn about safety for children.

The Target store on Peachtree Parkway hosted its annual National Night Out event to give families a chance to meet the agencies including the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Forsyth County Fire Department.

Ania-Lee Swanepoel is the executive team leader for assets protection for the store and helped organize the event.

“This is an opportunity for the community to come out and meet the local law enforcement and safety officials and thank them for all that they do for the community,” Swanepoel said. “This is for everyone to get to know their local neighbors.”

Knowing what to do in emergencies and other safety tips are crucial for children to know, Swanepoel said.

“We talk to kids and get them accustomed to law enforcement and the fire department,” she said. “We want to get them to feel comfortable and to be able to know what to do in these situations and who to turn to.”

The community doesn’t have opportunities often to talk to law enforcement without being in an emergency situation, she said.

“This is a night they can ask questions and meet people in their community who are part of these organizations,” Swanepoel said. “Talking about it is one thing. But getting to put a face to local law enforcement really makes a huge different. They’re more likely to respond better to situations when they have been talked through the process of what to do.”

Cpl. Page Cash agreed saying the night is designed to build relationships within the community.

“We want them to know we’re here to keep them safe,” Cash said. “We are part of the community. We want the children to be comfortable around us and our equipment so hopefully they aren’t frightened.”

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