APD hosts ‘Night to Unite’ for community

ASHEVILLE – Despite a cold fall night, the Asheville Police Department held its Night to Unite event at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Oct. 1.

Night to Unite brings residents and police officers together to discuss concerns and issues that may be happening in neighborhoods.

Officers gathered at the park and set up tables that offered information on various crime related topics that they respond to, such as graffiti, break-ins, or gang related issues.

“We have invited the people to come here and learn what we do as a department and learn about ways we can work together to resolve their problems,” said APD Crime Prevention Officer Allen Dunlap.

Allen Brailsford, a member of the APD’s Citizens Police Advisory Committee, agreed.

He said the event is “an opportunity to get information about the police department and what other (city) departments do and how they contribute to the neighborhoods.”

This event featured activities for everyone. There was food, games, and lively conversation.

Mary Smith, of Kenilworth, brought her grandson to show support for the department and to teach him about its purpose. Her grandson was one of the big raffle winners of the day, taking home a bicycle, which he rode all the way to their car as they left.

“Yes, he’s excited,” she said, laughing.