Hundreds attend local National Night Out event

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 9/27/17

It was a time for children to learn more about law enforcement and other agencies in the community, and hundreds took advantage of that opportunity at Tuesday’s National Night Out.

The …

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Hundreds attend local National Night Out event

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It was a time for children to learn more about law enforcement and other agencies in the community, and hundreds took advantage of that opportunity at Tuesday’s National Night Out.

The parking lot area between Belk and Dunham Sports at Bradley Square Mall was filled with many officers and pieces of equipment used by their departments. Children learned about the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office’s emergency vehicles, while the Cleveland Police Department showed its bomb dismantling machine, among the items at the event.

The highlight of the night was the doughnut eating contest between the BCSO and the CPD. This was the second such competition, with the BCSO winning last year’s contest and receiving a beautiful trophy with a doughnut handcuffed to a cup of coffee.

This year, the police department took the trophy and bragging rights for a year, with the winning team of Detective Bill Parks and Officer Bradley Colbaugh putting away 22 doughnuts in three minutes. Parks himself ate 13 of the 22 doughnuts for the CPD.

Competitors for the BCSO were Deputies David Harper and Jeff Wagner.

“I think next year, I need to get a better doughnut-eating partner,” Harper said after Wagner put away just over half a dozen pastries.

“We are proud of Detective Bill Parks bringing home the doughnut trophy,” said Cleveland Police Department Chief Mark Gibson.

Other organizations present at the National Night Out activities included the Bradley County Health Department, Students against Destructive Driving, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, along with the Cleveland Fire Department. Grilled hot dogs were given out, along with chips, salsa, and sodas at the event, with the Santa Fe restaurant inside the mall grilling the hot dogs.

A bicycle course was also set up for children, as were a couple of bounce houses.

Parents were also able to learn more about Neighborhood Watch as well.

Gibson was excited about the number of people who visited the displays at the event, and learned more about law enforcement.

“I am very proud of our staff for the hard work they put in making this event a success,” Gibson said. “We appreciate the community for coming out and spending the evening with the Cleveland Police Department; it shows their commitment to the safety and security to our community.”

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson echoed Gibson’s comments.

“We appreciate everyone who came to the National Night Out, and hope they learned more about law enforcement in our county,” Watson said.

“It was a lot of fun, too, and we were able to show off some of our equipment and our fine deputies. I think the best part was being able to show the children there our departments, and talk about what we do.”

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