NNO wins again

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

Suffolk’s National Night Out celebration once again continues its standard of excellence with a second-place award in its population category.

Officials with the National Association of Town Watch honored the city in the 50,000 to 100,000 population category. It was beat by Maple Grove, Minn., a bustling metropolis of fewer than 62,000 people.

But no matter where Suffolk’s place in the awards, which are judged based on a video of the event and a notebook of materials, the winners are the citizens who were able to forge better relationships with their neighbors and with law enforcement officials who serve their area.

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National Night Out is all about fighting crime through partnerships, and the event gives those partnerships a starting point. Hardly a person who attends a National Night Out event can get away without having met a neighbor and a police officer or firefighter and learned something about their lives.

Every National Night Out, citizens get the chance to talk to police officers and ask questions or tell them about issues they likely would have never reported by picking up the phone and calling the police department. They also get the chance to meet their neighbor down the street, the one with the red truck, and they will get suspicious when they see a silver car parked in front of the house and somebody else carrying out electronics.

It’s easy to see how a positive relationship among community members and between the community and the police can help reduce crime and improve the feeling of safety in a neighborhood. It’s difficult to see how those results make anybody involved anything less than a winner.

So congratulations to the many thousands of Suffolk residents who participated in National Night Out. We hope you’ll carry these relationships you made that hot August night throughout the year to keep everyone safe.