Columbus police officers are planning a big undercover operation on the evening of June 25. But instead of donning shaggy hair and stained T-shirts to bag meth dealers, they”ll be in slacks and masks.
The CPD will host its annual Policeman”s Ball June 25 at the Trotter Convention Center. The semi-formal masquerade ball will kick off at 7 p.m. and last until midnight.
In past years, the event has been held during the winter, but CPD community relations director/event organizer Rhonda Sanders was “very pregnant” this winter, and the event was postponed.
The $15 per individual and $25 per couple, or $145 per eight-seat VIP table, will be used to pay for more than just the catered meal and liquid refreshments at the ball. Proceeds will fund this year”s local Night Out Against Crime parties and college scholarships for two CPD Explorer members. The program is designed to help youth gain insight into the CPD with hands-on career-related activities.
The annual Night Out Against Crime, Aug. 3, is a nationwide collaboration between citizens and law enforcement to make a statement against crime. It will be celebrated in Columbus with block parties at five sites, some in areas of the city with the highest crime rates. Food and entertainment will be provided, and items such as school supplies will be distributed to children.
“It”s very important to take our streets back, so we go into a lot of areas where we have crime and problems,” said Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John.
The events are very well attended and go a long way toward heightening awareness about crime and fostering relationships between citizens and police officers, St. John said.
And the same goes for the Policeman”s Ball.
“It”s a time when we”re not all tight,” said Sanders of the police department. “You can talk to the mayor, City Council or the chief in a relaxed atmosphere instead of business.”
A live band will be on hand to provide entertainment, and local businesses will provide items for a silent auction with all proceeds going toward Night Out Against Crime. Masks will be available at the event.
Tickets for the Policeman”s Ball are available at the police department from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information or to donate items to the silent auction, call Sanders at 662-251-7355.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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