National Night Out is a big party which helps prevent crimeThe nation’s Night Out celebration is set for another year with several local festivities and block parties scattered throughout the community. This year’s event takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 7, with more than 25 neighborhood parties and potlucks.
The nation’s Night Out celebration is set for another year with several local festivities and block parties scattered throughout the community.
This year’s event takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 7, with more than 25 neighborhood parties and potlucks.
“Everybody has such busy schedules, sometimes you have to schedule an event so the neighbors can talk and the kids can play,” said Bill Nelson, host of a National Night Out party in Lakeside, which will include hot dogs, lemonade, and a live band. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for friends, family, and neighbors to come together.”
Besides friends, family, and neighbors, police officers also make appearances at many of the block party celebrations.
“The Duluth police and fire departments try to attend every event so they can connect with neighborhoods and to let children know they are here to help them,” said Mary Schmitz, who’s helping run an event at CHUM. “Our event nearly always has some police hanging out and eating.”
“It’s important to celebrate our communities and just have fun,” Lieutenant Leigh Wright told the Budgeteer. “It also gives officers the opportunity to reach out and interact with residents. The public is always very happy to see us at the different celebrations.”
So, why was National Night Out created in the first place?
It wasn’t fashioned solely for eating and conversing with
According to the official NNO website, it’s “a unique crime and drug prevention event” and is designed to “heighten crime and drug awareness and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships” among other goals.
However, Pam Kleinschmidt has seen these ideas abused in the past.
“Some politicians and others with an agenda sometimes show up at events to “press the flesh” and talk up their causes,” Kleinschmidt told the Budgeteer. “This in my opinion takes away from the purpose of the evening, which is to simply meet your neighbors and show criminals that we are united against crime.”
However, she said that people love this event and many have hosted for several years because they see the value of bringing their neighbors and community together.
“The community benefits by recognizing their neighbors and this event makes you more aware of them,” Stacey DeRoche, who is hosting another event in the Northland, told the Budgeteer. “Many times we agree to keep an eye on each other’s homes while we’re away.”
For more information about event locations and how to participate in NNO, visit www.duluthmn. gov/police/nno-listing.cfm.