City gets ready for NNOPublished 9:28pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013
National Night Out is less than two months away, and the community already is getting excited for the annual crime-fighting event.
Set this year for Aug. 6, the event — put on nationally by the National Association of Town Watch — encourages residents to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend the evening getting to know their neighbors. It is meant to present a united front against crime.
This year’s theme is “Jump On It,” and city officials want everyone to jump on board.
“We want to encourage everybody to jump on it and get on the National Night Out bandwagon,” spokeswoman Diana Klink said.
Contests like jump rope and jumping jacks are encouraged to go with the theme, she said. Other popular community activities include cookouts, parades, bounce houses for children and more. Registered communities get a visit from a caravan of city officials and public safety personnel.
Suffolk has participated in the nationwide event for several years and has placed in the top five in its population group for seven years straight, as judged by a national committee that reviews a video and notebook of materials about the event.
Last year, about 60 neighborhoods and businesses and thousands of residents participated in the festivities.
A kickoff event held Tuesday night drew about 30 people who registered their communities to participate and received party boxes full of materials to help them plan the event. The boxes included the music to The Sugarhill Gang’s “Jump On It” song to tie the theme to the events.
Public safety officials encouraged participation in the event.
“National Night Out isn’t about what we do that one night of the year, but it’s about a mindset that community safety isn’t built by government alone,” Suffolk Police Maj. Stephanie Burch said.
Hollywood/Jericho Civic League vice president Barbara Artis said the community is an avid participant in National Night Out.
“I just love the National Night Out,” she said. “I get to meet my neighbors, and everybody has a good time.”
Pughsville Civic League President Wayne White said the community would participate again this year after a hiatus last year.
“We want to get everybody involved,” he said.
The event is sponsored nationally by Target, Nextdoor and Associa.
For more information about National Night Out in Suffolk, visit www.suffolknno.org.