Getting to the bottom of NNO

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019

Suffolk has once again placed in the top five in its population group in the awards for National Night Out, which was held this year on Aug. 6.

Just ahead of Suffolk were Gloucester Township, N.J.; Maple Grove, Minn.; Carson City, Nev.; and Margate, Fla. Our neighbor, Portsmouth, actually came in at No. 9 in the standings for the same group, which is localities from 50,000 to 100,000 in population.

But National Night Out is not about the awards, of course; they’re just the after-effects of having one awesome going-away party for crime.

Email newsletter signup

So what all is involved in these parties? There’s the food, of course, and while it’s delicious, that doesn’t make or break National Night Out any more than the awards do. There’s the games and activities and entertainment, and while they might bring out a lot of people, they’re also not the reason we celebrate National Night Out. And it also doesn’t matter whether the central theme of the gathering is more of a block party, more of a cookout or more of a casual gathering.

So, then, what is the reason for National Night Out? What is the motivation?

At its core, National Night Out is simply the “organized anti-crime.” It’s one night a year that neighbors can get together and get to know each other, have fun and become acquainted with the law enforcement and public safety officers who serve their area.

The main idea behind National Night Out is twofold: first, seeing a bunch of people outside in their neighborhood is likely to be a deterrent to anyone who was thinking of committing a crime there, certainly that night but also in the future; and second, when neighbors know each other better and they all know their local law enforcement better, they can work collaboratively on reducing crime in their neighborhood.

We hope for a great turnout next year as we all work together to end crime in our city. In the meantime, there’s never a wrong day to start getting to know your neighbors, becoming acquainted with the police officers who serve you — and locking your doors.