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Building true communities

National Night Out started is a way to build bridges between law enforcement and residents, to let criminals know that people are united in their efforts to fight crime in their respective communities.

And judging by the enthusiasm of

the 1,000 or so folks who turned out at NNO festivities in Suffolk on Tuesday, it might just accomplish that.

But hopefully, people will recognize that NNO parties can also be used as springboards for building true communities.

One Hall Place resident expressed surprise after chatting with someone at the event, only to find that they had lived just a couple of doors from one another for months. It’s great that she met her neighbor; at the same time, it’s sad to think people are so entangled in their own lives that they may not even recognize someone who lives across the street.

Put simply, we need each other.

It’s nice to call a neighbor to let your dog out if you’re late coming in from work. It’s comforting to know a

neighbor will tell you if she spots your kids getting in trouble. And it’s good to enjoy dinner on the grill with the folks who live just a short walk away.

Celebrate National Night Out every night.

It’s as easy as waving at the man across the street.