Things were spicy at the Mt. Juliet Police Department Saturday afternoon. The department turned the heat up against crime with a community chili cook-off and open house.
The event was one of many the police department has organized in an attempt to unite the community with police. Another such event is their Coffee with a Cop that is a regular session early morning at various businesses.
"With the cook-off we just wanted to reach out and let everyone see the station, plus create a home-town feel," MJPD Lt. Tyler Chandler said.
About 500 people attended the event that had a DJ, a kid's fun zone and numerous examples of equipment and technology. Representatives from the department were on hand to conduct guided tours of police headquarters.
"It was a successful effort to further strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships," Chandler said. "It was a great opportunity for residents, business leaders and police to meet and greet."
There were eight competing teams, mostly from local business. The judges were District 4 City Commissioner Brian Abston, MJPD Chief James Hambrick and Det. Bonnie Harris, and Fire Department of Mt. Juliet Chief Jamie Luffman.
However, some of the teams' chili emerged victorious. First Place Business/Organization, Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center; Second Place Business/Organization, ESC Lab Sciences; First Place Neighborhood, Amsley; Second Place Neighborhood, Chili Talks; and Chiefs' Award, Chillbillies.
Citizens were able to judge as well, and the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center made their favorite chili.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.