Make it a yearlong tradition

Published 10:54 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

On Tuesday night, thousands of people in Suffolk came out to parties across the city to celebrate National Night Out.

Dubbed a “going-away party for crime,” the idea of this nationwide movement is to forge and strengthen partnerships among neighbors, and between neighbors and their local law enforcement, to present a united front against crime.

So whether you organized a whole celebration or merely attended one and met some neighbors, whether you were working the grill or organizing a children’s game, whether you were playing the music or painting kids’ faces, and whether you were a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, firefighter or member of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office going around to meet the community you serve, we say “thank you.”

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In between all the fun and food, there was something important happening. Those who were meeting their neighbors, talking with law enforcement and learning more about their community were making it happen.

But we want to urge everyone who participated in National Night Out to keep it going all year long.

There doesn’t have to be a party with music, activities and food on the grill every night for our community to come together. There just has to be a commitment by everyone to make sure the partnership and camaraderie last the other 364 days of the year.

How can you do this? Get involved in your civic league, homeowners’ association or neighborhood watch. Call city officials and public safety officials to express your concerns, give compliments or just talk. Get to know your neighbors and watch out for them. If something seems amiss, do more than just post it on social media — call the police. Keep the doors of your home and vehicle locked so as not to invite crime to your neighborhood. And above all, be kind to everyone you meet.

Thanks to all of our friends and neighbors who participated for another great National Night Out.