Communities kick off Night Out planning

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

National Night Out officially kicked off in Suffolk with the community meeting on Tuesday in City Council chamber.

More than three dozen people came to register their communities, and each of them received a banner to advertise the event in their neighborhood.

National Night Out is an annual event, set this year for Aug. 1, that helps fight crime by encouraging neighbors to get to know one another and build relationships with local law enforcement. Communities celebrate in various ways, from small backyard cookouts to large shindigs featuring entertainment, children’s activities and more.

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“I’m very elated for this opportunity,” said Vickey Parrish, the president of the Saratoga-Philadelphia Civic League. “It brings people together. If communities stand together, they can block out a lot of problems, such as theft and drugs. To know your neighbor makes a lot of difference.”

Greg Stone, president of the board of directors at the Residences at Hampton Roads Crossing, and John Wells, the secretary, came to the meeting representing their community.

“We care about our community,” Stone said. “We’re hoping to get as many people interested and get people involved in our community as possible. It’s just to try to get our community together.”

The Project 365 theme — a focal point for residents and law enforcement all year long — for this year’s National Night Out celebrations is “Lock It, Don’t Lose It.” Residents are encouraged to make sure they lock their cars and homes to help prevent becoming a victim of theft.

Maj. Gerald Brandsasse, representing the Suffolk Police Department at Tuesday’s meeting, said recent arrests were made in thefts from cars because of alert citizens who called the police.

“That is a huge testament to the community involvement,” he said. “The community involvement we have in this city is incomparable.”

Registration for individual communities for National Night Out is still available. Visit for more information.