A STANDING LEGACY — National Night Out attendees, organizers and Lake Helen Police Department officers pose for a quick photo op. In back, from left, are Officer Dane Krout, Virginia Taylor, Officer Joey Rushworth, Officer Scott Owen, Police Chief Robert Mullins, Officer Trevor Gray and Joy Taylor. From left in front are Marcalee Parrish, Sawyer Parrish and Amanda Mullins.


Teamwork and community pride were abundant in Lake Helen when the GEMS and the city co-hosted the Lake Helen Police Department for National Night Out at the GEM Station on Aug. 1. National Night Out is an opportunity for police departments all over the country to reach out and connect with their communities. This was the first time the LHPD has participated in the event.

“It’s our opportunity to show support for National Night Out and let the people know we are here for them,” said Lake Helen Police Chief Robert Mullins.

Mullins was made interim police chief in 2021 and officially offered the position later that year, although he has been a part of the Lake Helen Police Department for over 25 years.

During the event, officers and firefighters mingled with residents while volunteers served free hot dogs and ice cream. Local organizations like the American Legion set up information booths. The Lake Helen League for Better Living provided fingerprinting and identification forms for children.

“We are thankful to have a Police Department that takes time to build relationships with the community they serve and protect,” said Joy Taylor, president of the league.

The evening also included activities for children like a bounce house, dunk tank and dancing with officers. Marcalee Parrish, a longtime Lake Helen resident, attended the event with his family. “Many Lake Helen residents already know these officers by their first name, but it’s a great opportunity for the community to  support our local police,” Parrish said.


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