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Suffolk shines on Night Out

In a few short months, the city of Suffolk will celebrate National Night Out 2009. Suffolk is in the top echelon when it comes to doing National Night Out the right way. Suffolk’s National Night Out program last year bested those of nearly 300 other cities nationwide for a first-place award from the organization that sponsors the program.

The annual event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, to generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts, to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police–community partnerships and to send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

This year will be Suffolk’s ninth year participating in National Night Out. Last year, NNO included 35.4 million participants in more than 10,000 communities across the country.

After each year, participating cities submit both written and video documentation of their National Night Out events. Last year, Suffolk’s submission was selected from 294 entries in its category, which includes cities with populations of 50,000-99,999.

And in 2008, Suffolk had its largest National Night Out ever, with more than 5,000 people in 40 communities and businesses participating in National Night Out events and pre-events. This year, the NNO committee is hoping for an even better turnout.

Suffolk does a great job in preparing and implementing NNO events and as a result has received proper recognition. The event is more than just about winning awards, though; it demonstrates what can happen when community members join together for a common goal.

The greatest benefit of the event is that it provides community members the opportunity to inform those who do wrong that such action simply will not be tolerated.

This year’s event will occur on Aug. 4, and already more than a dozen community coordinators have registered their neighborhoods for NNO. We hope that more will follow.