An honor well deserved

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Apparently, Suffolk really knows how to throw a party.

For the eighth year in a row, the city has ranked in the top five among communities with similar population levels that participate in the annual pep rally celebrating the nation’s fight against crime.

Suffolk continues to take the lead in Virginia when it comes to National Night Out. A fourth-place award for the massive, citywide celebration in Suffolk was Virginia’s best showing in the competition this year, with only James City County and the town of Smithfield joining our city in garnering national attention for the commonwealth.

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On the first Tuesday night of every August, neighborhoods all across Suffolk’s 430 square miles join forces with thousands of communities for the annual National Night Out crime, drug and gang awareness event. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the Suffolk Police Department, this annual event involves more than 37 million people in 10,000 communities across 50 states, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Suffolk neighborhoods hold cookouts, parades, activities and other events, and this year’s event was bigger and more elaborate than ever, though the basic purpose remains as simple as ever — to help neighbors get out of the house and get to know each other.

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

Congratulations to all who were involved in helping the city achieve this honor.