An estimated 300 residents turned out on Leap Day evening last year for the city’s Community Unity Flashlight Walk, and spirits were as bright as the flashlights they carried to light up the night and shine a light on crime.
This year, Police Chief Stephen McCosker, who initiated the idea, hopes for even more during the Feb. 27 walk under a full moon.
The event is an opportunity for city officials and citizens from all walks of life to mingle together in a display of community unity. The flashlight component shines a light on crime and the participants’ determination to combat it.
This year’s walk will follow the same downtown route as last year, beginning at the City Hall south parking lot, next to the railway tracks, where the Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni group will serve free hotdogs.
The evening begins with free hotdogs served by members of the Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni in the City Hall parking lot to live music from Crestview High School musicians. Along the 1.2-mile route from City Hall down Wilson Street and back up Main Street, participants encounter “selfie stations” staffed by costumed mascots including the Police Department’s Safety Pup and McGruff, the Crime Dog, and the Fire Department’s Marshall of “Paw Patrol” fame.
Flashing blue emergency lights from police cars blocking intersections for walkers’ safety and waving flashlight beams add a festive lightshow to the walk, which returns to its starting point at City Hall where participants can enjoy cupcakes.
Individuals or businesses interested in making donations, or businesses interested in participating in the event, can contact Officer Sam Kimmons or Wanda Hulion at the Police Department to sign up. Businesses participating in the walk will be assigned locations along the route.
The Community Unity Flashlight Walk begins at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the City Hall south parking lot, 198 N. Wilson St. For information, contact the Crestview Police Department, 850.682.3544.