FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Next week, Fort Jackson residents will get a chance to put names with faces and see the different service people who work to keep the neighborhoods safe.

Fort Jackson’s National Night Out is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m., Wednesday on Hilton Field. Law enforcement and on-post organizations are coming together to bring Soldiers, families and civilians a night of information and entertainment.

“The nationwide event is held each year to foster positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Maj. David Kerr, Police Operations Chief with Fort Jackson’s Directorate of Emergency Services. Fort Jackson DES will join with Columbia Police, Richland and Lexington County sheriff departments and the S.C. Highway Patrol to teach attendees about crime prevention and remaining safe in various situations, while showcasing emergency service capabilities.

“This is a great opportunity for people to come out and socialize and meet their neighbors,” said Alana Youngblood, Balfour Beatty Lifeworks Coordinator. “Just because you live on post doesn’t mean you are safe. We all have to work together to make our neighborhoods safer. That’s what this is about.”

The event will begin with a law enforcement parade through the housing area that will end on Hilton Field.

“We will have lots of toys out on the field for people to see,” Youngblood said. “There will be two helicopters, a crime scene simulation for kids to go through and K-9 demonstrations.”

Balfour Beatty will provide free popcorn, face painting, balloon art and glow necklaces at the event. Fort Jackson family readiness groups will have food and drinks available for purchase. The proceeds will directly benefit the units stationed at Fort Jackson.

The surrounding community is also giving prizes to Fort Jackson families during National Night Out. Children can receive free school supplies from Fort Jackson’s newest chapter of Operation Homefront.

“We became an official chapter on May 19, so this is our first event,” said Sharon Rice of Operation Homefront. “We have 15 printers to give as door prizes, along with a two-night stay at a Myrtle Beach resort. Families can register online for school supplies between now and (Monday) to pick them up that night.”

Rice said the school supplies were donated through the Dollar Tree stores in the Columbia area from shoppers who wanted to give back to military families.

“This is the community’s way of saying thank you to Soldiers and their families so it is a great night to come out and be a part of the fun.”

To register for school supplies, visit: In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at Joe E. Mann Center located at 3392 Magruder Ave.

Page last updated Thu July 28th, 2011 at 07:56