National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. The annual event will take place on August 2 in the Leisure Lanes parking lot at 3440 Columbia Ave. from 6 – 8 p.m. This is a free event and open to the public.
“The goal is to bring the communities out and allow them to get to know the local police officers and interact with the members of the department,” says Phoulideth Chanthongthip, a police officer at Millersville University Police Department.
The National Association of Town Watch introduced the National Night Out campaign in 1984 through an already established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation. National Night Out’s goal is to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.
“Everything we do out there is for the kids and for families to enjoy spending time with us,” says Chanthongthip.
National Night Out has grown to become a celebration beyond just front porch vigils and symbolic efforts amongst neighbors to send a message of neighborhood camaraderie. Neighborhoods across the nation now host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and more.
“I love seeing the kid’s faces light up when they see the police cruisers and hear our sirens,” says Chanthongthip.
This year’s event will have a dunk tank, games, ice cream, cornhole, rock climbing, and more.