Some came to support family members at the Aug. 4 National Night Out, but many came to see the trucks, cars and other technology local law enforcement officers use. Some of the parents acted more eager than their kids to peer out of the turret in the SWAT armored vehicle.
Police from Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, Sandy Springs and officers with specialized units such as K-9 and the North Metro SWAT team joined forces to host the annual community event at Perimeter Mall.
Dave Gewertz admitted freely that he came to “see all the police cars.” His 6-year-old son, Joe, rode around in a toy car painted as a SSPD patrol car, while people, such as the mayor of Doraville, came up to take photos of him.
Gewertz said he made the car from an old Power Wheels car he found. While Joe only shrugged when asked if he was having fun, he said he’d rather ride in his car than in the tall fire truck ladder.
Amelie Martinez-Morales, 10, has an uncle who started as a Sandy Springs police officer in 2006, when the department started. Officer D. G. Romero has been a police officer for 15 years total and has children ranging in age from 23 years to 16 months old. Romero’s niece came along with his wife and 16-month-old daughter to National Night Out at the mall.
“I think it’s amazing because it’s so cool how you can see all the cops and learn their stories and how it all works out,” Martinez-Morales said. “You get to see all the cool cars working.”
Lori and Dan McMahan didn’t bring children with them, but said they came out because they “support Dunwoody and their community, and wanted to support the police department,” Lori McMahan said.
Sarah Begeal, wife of Sandy Springs Officer Cory Begeal, brought their 3-year-old son, Cayden, and their 18-month-old daughter, Liliana, to see what daddy does at work.
Andrew Perry called National Night Out a “cool way to end the summer” albeit in extreme heat, while his wife, Carolyn, said she wanted her kids to know the local police and officials are there to help. “He won’t be scared,” she said, if her son ever needed help from a police officer.