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NNO takes home first place

The city of Suffolk won first place in its category for the fifth time in 10 years for its participation in National Night Out in August.

“This year’s event was phenomenal, with thousands of citizens coming together across 430 square miles of our city at events coordinated and supported by more than 160 community organizers, volunteers, civic leagues, homeowner’s associations, churches, fraternal organizations and business sponsors,” said event chair Diana Klink. “Events such as NNO truly showcase the amazing relationships that our citizens and public safety share in our city.”

The event’s parent organization, National Association of Town Watch, judges communities’ events based on a video and packet of information. Suffolk is judged against all localities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000, and the city has won the first-place prize four times — 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2016. For 12 years, the city has ranked in the top five in the nation.

“It is my privilege and I’m very proud to announce that the city of Suffolk has once again received the first place in the nation award from the National Association of Town Watch for our participation in this year’s National Night Out,” said Police Chief Thomas Bennett.

Suffolk has received national recognition for its work with National Night Out on a city level and individual community level. Suffolk has been participating in National Night Out for about 20 years.

“We have quite a team here in Suffolk that is dedicated to making our city a safe place to live and work. National Night Out gives us a chance to demonstrate our commitment to this on a yearly basis,” Bennett said. “Our National Night Out submittals have consistently placed in the top five of our category for the past decade, and this occurred due to the relationship our public has with public safety officials and many other factors.”

More than 150 communities, civic leagues, churches and businesses participated in Suffolk’s National Night Out on Aug. 7.

“Suffolk is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in Virginia, and the only thing outpacing our growth and job numbers is the excitement that our citizens, our communities and our businesses exhibit in coordinating their annual National Night Out events,” Klink said.

National Night Out provides communities with an opportunity to learn more about crime and drug prevention and strengthen bonds between the community and law enforcement. This is the organization’s 35th year, and communities participate in all 50 states.

“It can be said that National Night Out in Suffolk is an event where the ordinary becomes extraordinary,” Klink said. “It’s evident that this community knows how to take National Night Out to new heights, and together we celebrated the true spirit of our community.”