Editorial – National Night Out approaching

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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We challenge any community to make crime-fighting as much fun as Suffolk makes it each year on National Night Out.

Organizers already are gearing up for the Aug. 1 event, with a kickoff event set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at City Hall, 442 W. Washington St.

It might seem odd to refer to a citywide party as a crime-fighting effort, but behind all the cornhole and hot dogs — behind the dunk tanks and talent shows, the water balloons and barbecues — National Night Out is all about communities coming together, and that’s the very essence of a successful anti-crime effort.

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Communities, after all, do not reduce their crime rates solely because of the hard work of good police departments. Some of the best and largest police departments in the nation exist in places where crime rates are high. Without the support of their community and without the community’s commitment to stamping out crime, even the best police officers face an uphill battle.

National Night Out exists to help encourage those community traits — to introduce neighbors to one another, to help build relationships between neighborhoods and the police officers who serve them and to help both residents and officers recognize and pursue new opportunities for partnerships.

Millions of people in thousands of communities across the United States, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide participate in National Night Out every year.

Neighborhoods and communities throughout Suffolk hold a plethora of activities, including cookouts, ice cream socials, flashlight parades, block parties, contests and more. A caravan of city and law enforcement officials visit the various communities to meet and greet residents and forge relationships.

Suffolk’s collective celebration has ranked in the top 10 nationwide for more than a decade in its population category and received first-in-the-nation awards in 2008, 2009, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2022. 

If you’ve not participated in the past, make it a priority this year. Visit www.suffolknno.com for details.