National Night Out

America’s Night Out Against Crime

August 5th is coming up quickly, and our neighbors and police officials are gearing up again for the annual National Night Out celebration. Every first Tuesday in August, communities and local police forces come together to celebrate their combined dedication to keeping their neighborhoods safe and protected from crime. This tremendously successful event was founded by the head of the National Association of Town Watch, Matt Peskin, in 1984 and has grown to include 37.8 million people across all 50 states since then.

During National Night Out, neighborhood residents and their local police departments show solidarity by promoting safer communities through crime prevention efforts with various celebrations like block parties, cookouts, parades, rallies, and safety seminars. It is an enjoyable experience for all involved, but the message the event promotes is a serious one. During this program, community residents and police officials stand up for their communities and show criminals that they are willing to fight for the safety of their communities. It is a warning to anyone who would threaten their safe and law abiding neighborhoods.

Typically, the local police – in partnership with the neighborhood watch – will organize town-wide celebrations and awareness events, and everyone is encouraged to participate and help spread awareness about safe communities and crime prevention.  For residents, getting to know your neighbors and making sure they are informed about the upcoming event is a great first step. Even becoming slightly more acquainted with the people who live around you is a major step towards a safer neighborhood. Another immensely popular tradition is the “Lights On Campaign.” Residents are encouraged to turn on their front porch lights, lock their doors, and spend the evening outside with their neighbors, police officers, firefighters, and EMS paramedics. Front porch vigils are sometimes held at participating homes in order to enhance community relations and heighten awareness.

At police and neighborhood watch organized events, community members can expect to learn about neighborhood anti-crime efforts and the importance of spreading awareness through speeches, seminars, educational handouts, and community outreach programs. They can also expect to have an enjoyable experience getting to know each other in a casual environment and partaking in fun activities. Many National Night Out celebrations have free community barbecues along with games and activities for all ages. This is an event that serves a powerful purpose while still showing its attendees a good time.

An excellent opportunity to get to know your neighbors and learn how to contribute to your safe community is just around the corner, so be sure to participate in your community’s National Night Out this August 5th.

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