This year, “America’s Night Out Against Crime” will be held on Tuesday, August 7th from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., in communities throughout the nation. It is an evening for neighbors to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights and get reacquainted. This observance helps to build police-community partnerships, raise crime prevention awareness and encourage neighborhood camaraderie. Events such as block parties, cookouts, ice cream socials, parades, visits from police and community leaders, neighborhood and flashlight walks, youth activities, and goal-setting are planned to help promote safety and crime prevention in local neighborhoods.
2012 will mark the 29th National Night Out (NNO). The first NNO was held in 1984 with 2.5 million people in attendance nationwide. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), NNO was formed to unite neighbors from communities large and small to find ways to help fight and reduce crime. NNO is the perfect conduit because it strengthens police-community partnerships; generates support for local anticrime programs and heightens crime and drug prevention awareness.
The success of the first NNO was a clear indication that people wanted to protect their neighborhoods against drugs and crime. Now that some police forces have been cut, it is especially pertinent. NNO has grown considerably since then, with over 37 million people participating in the event last year, including all 50 states, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
NNO has consistently proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable event to promote neighborhood spirit and safety in each community. Let’s all get acquainted with our neighbors on August 7th and help “Give Drugs and Crime a Going Away Party!”
If your community has not been a part of this dynamic program, it’s not too late. Information is available on the National Association of Town Watch website to help you get started on your own local chapter.
Julie Nauman is the Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB), appointed in 2008. VCGCB provides compensation for victims of violent crime and helps to resolve claims against the State.