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NNO awards given

The only losers on National Night Out were the criminals, but a special group of winners from the event were recognized on Aug. 22 in City Council chambers.

The annual crime-fighting event is held on the first Tuesday in August nationwide, and many neighborhoods here in Suffolk celebrate with cookouts, socials, block parties and other efforts meant to present a united front against crime and help community members get to know one another as well as the law enforcement officials who serve their communities.

“This year’s event was phenomenal,” city spokeswoman and National Night Out coordinator Diana Klink said at the awards ceremony last Tuesday.

All participating communities and businesses were recognized at the event, but some communities received special awards based on youth judges who scored their events on a number of metrics, ranging from pre-event publicity to aspects of the event highlighting crime prevention.

In addition, Brittany Hamlin, a member of the National Night Out at Obici and Health Fair committee, was awarded the Spirit Award. Hamlin said she created a number of promotional videos for the event.

Tom and Jana Bennett of Burbage Grant Neighborhood Watch, the first-place best community winner, said they believed pooling resources and involving young people contributed to their win.

“We just pulled all our resources from our community together,” Jana Bennett said. “We had teenagers and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We had a lot of fun.”

Following is the list of award winners:

Honorable Mention — Suffolk Barber and Beauty, a group of more than 12 downtown businesses

Rookie of the Year — C.H.O.I.C.E. Program

Top Business — United States Army, Including the Army National Guard and Recruiting Center

Best Community

  • First Place — Burbage Grant Neighborhood Watch
  • Second Place — Lake Kennedy Civic League

Best Combined Community

  • First Place — Saratoga/Philadelphia Civic League
  • Second Place — Tynes/Spruce Street Communities

Official National Night Out Grand Finale Site Awards

  • National Night Out at Obici & Health Fair
  • Greater Oakland & Chuckatuck Civic League

Spirit Award — Brittany Hamlin, member of the National Night Out at Obici and Health Fair Committee