National Night Out – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby!
This year the second Tuesday in August (the 4th) marks the 32nd National Night Out, an event founded and promoted by the National Association of Town Watch to shine a light on crime prevention awareness among communities across the country.
That first event in 1984 has evolved significantly from people keeping their outside light on from dusk to dawn and sitting a symbolic front porch vigil to full blown community activities where neighbors meet neighbors and the community sends the message that their neighborhood belongs to them, not to those who would commit crime.
Last year’s National Night Out saw nearly 38 million people in over 16,000 communities come together to show their commitment to stopping crime in their neighborhoods. They did it with street parties, BBQs, talks with local patrol officers, community newsletters and even parades. The objective of the one day event is to remind everyone that a crime-free community starts at home and that residents keeping an eye out for other residents and their property are the foundation for a safe place to live and raise kids.
In these times where almost every home and apartment is empty during the day it’s important that everyone pay attention to personal security and that those who are home can recognize who is a neighbor and who doesn’t belong. Strong community-police relationships can be the source of invaluable information and crime prevention coordination. National Night Out events can help achieve these objectives and just as importantly, build a sense of community camaraderie.
St. Paul says Give Drugs & Crime a Going Away Party
St. Paul, our home town, is one of the largest participants in NNO activities for cities of equal size in the country. Chief of Police Tom Smith is a strong advocate of community National Night Out activities and believes that they have a direct impact on crime prevention across all the neighborhoods in the city. It’s the Chief’s opinion that these events encourage neighborhood spirit and strengthen police-community relationships resulting in stronger, healthier neighborhoods.
We agree with Chief Smith. We obviously have a vested interest in keeping our customers and their property free from harm or loss but we also believe that strong, safe communities are great for the customer and benefit business as well.
Don’t let your commitment to safe communities be restricted to one night only. We highly encourage participation in a Neighborhood Watch group and to that end we have created a Neighborhood Watch Resource Page for our readers. We encourage you to visit that page to get ideas for events big or small and to find links and other resources that can provide additional information.
Join us in supporting a commitment to safe, crime free communities and don’t forget to leave the porch light on!