‘Night Out’ plans are set

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

National Night Out is less than a week away, and more than 50 communities across the city are gearing up for a night dedicated to enhancing police and community partnerships.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities to band together to support our local public safety officials and promote neighborhood unity,” Diana Klink, the head of the National Night Out committee, said. “We have a multitude of events scheduled this year.”

The theme for National Night Out this year is “Project 365 — Leading Suffolk: Our Future … Our Responsibility.”

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National Night Out events begin on Sunday with National Night Out Sunday, pre-National Night Out and National Kids’ Day. The pep rally and kids’ day will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at Peanut Park on Carolina Road, and will feature games, clowns, free food, arts and crafts, a child safety seat inspection, information on bicycle and fire safety and more.

National Night Out Sunday encourages residents to pray for youth, communities and law enforcement officers. Many churches throughout the city will have offertory cards for churchgoers to report crime anonymously.

Two days later, on Aug. 4, National Night Out will be here. The city of Suffolk is defending the national title for its population group. The kick-off event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the new police administration building, 111 Henley Place.

From there, committee members, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, the “Nat Knight” mascot and others will head to the many areas celebrating the night out, visiting community parades, flashlight walks, neighborhood potlucks and cookouts, outdoor movies and more.

After they’ve visited every community, the tours will converge on last year’s winning celebration at the Bethlehem Ruritan Club, which includes neighborhoods from the surrounding area. Youth judges on the tours will determine this year’s winning community.

National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, involves more than 37 million people in 10,000 communities in 50 states, Canadian provinces and military bases worldwide.