Suffolk ranks third place nationwide for NNO

Published 8:52 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

The city of Suffolk reached a new milestone with this year’s National Night Out community event reaching third place nationwide in it’s population category.

This is also the 16th year of Suffolk ranking top five in the nation among communities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000 citizens by the National Association of Town Watch.

Held on Aug. 3, the national community event that brings local citizens, law enforcement, and public safety officials together to fight back against crime, saw thousands attend to celebrate safety and strengthen community relationships.

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“We were waiting with baited breath for these results,” said Jennifer Moore, chairwoman of the National Night Out Committee as she reflected on the results.

“We put a lot of time and energy and effort into National Night Out as it is, but we just worked extra hard to ensure that everything went well and we were hoping and praying for good weather.”

Moore explained how staying true to Suffolk’s identity and framework helped with the event’s success.

“We just had a wonderful template and framework in place and we stayed true to our model, which is unique to Suffolk,” she said. “I like to say that model is probably not replicated that often across the country and that’s what sets us apart, and we did it.”

Moore said she was ecstatic when she learned of this year’s third place honors.

“I notified our committee members and community participants, our community leaders who have hosted their events across the city and we’re just on cloud nine,” she said.

Moore said there are important pieces that helped bring the National Night Out event together.

“There are so many key players here, but to break it down into two pieces — you’ve got the National Night Out committee and every person on that committee plays an integral role in making this event a success, but then you also have our community partners,” Moore said. “Those are our civic league groups, those are our churches, our home owners associations, any community group that we have out here in Suffolk that was graciously willing to host their events.”

With those coming together and working within the city’s successful framework, she said it brought together all kinds of folks who wanted to participate.

Likewise, Moore spoke about the importance of the help of vendors, active PTA groups as well as the official safety groups that the NNO committee helped represent — such as the police, the sheriff’s department, the fire department and the commonwealth attorney’s office, among others.

“We really have every aspect of our local law enforcement and public safety folks represented and they all come out,” Moore said. “Suffolk Police Department has great representation. Suffolk Fire Department has great representation, Sheriff’s Department as well. It takes a village. We got a committee of about 15 and we all work equally as hard to pull off a successful event,” Moore expressed.

As for next year’s National Night Out?

“We have our eye on the prize,” Moore expressed. “We’re honored and flattered that we made top three, but I mean, where do you go from here? We’re looking up and we want to get number one. We’ll take number two, but we like number one.”