Sammy Antonelli and her mother, Amy, visited with Officer Meyerhoff and Sgt. Rausch with the Sandy Springs Police Department River Patrol. (Bob Pepalis)

The Sandy Springs Police Department hosted its Back to School Bash in conjunction with National Night Out on Aug. 1 outside city hall.

“It’s a National Crime Prevention Program that’s nationwide. And we’re out here tonight full force from Sandy Springs Police Department, Sandy Springs Fire,” Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone said. “We’ve got other law enforcement agencies from the county, like the sheriff, the school police, the Fulton County marshals, we also have our federal law enforcement partners.”

The FBI, Secret Service, ATF, and other federal agencies participated, putting mobile command centers, armored vehicles, and other equipment on display. Most offered families and children activities promoting safety.

The Fulton County Police Department flew its helicopter in, landing on Mount Vernon Highway beside the City Green, with that section of road closed for the event.

“We’ve got a ton of people and resources out here and we all work together to make the citizens of Sandy Springs safe,” DeSimone said.

The event was geared toward children headed back to class on Aug. 7. The Back to School Bash gets the children in the right frame of mind for going back to school, DeSimone said.

 “And it’s a good little safety reminder for them,” he said, with handouts for safe schools, traffic awareness, pedestrian safety, and other safety issues.

Families got a close view of the helicopter landing in a non-emergency situation. (Bob Pepalis)

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.