the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

02
August

National Night Out

Posted by Brittany

National Night OutAugust 2, 2011 is the 28th annual observance of National Night Out (NNO), a drug and crime prevention event created by the National Association of Town Watch. NNO unites citizens, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and neighborhood organizations in all 50 sates to generate support for local anti-crime programs and strengthen police-community partnership. Traditionally, NNO has been observed with a display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, but many communities also celebrate with block parties, parades, cookouts, and interaction between police officials and citizens.

Although I’ve had my fair share of fire mishaps, I’ve been lucky enough to have very little interaction with local law enforcement. My communication with the police and local sheriff’s department has mostly been limited to my crazed vigilante-style compulsion to call the traffic hotline on drunk drivers and dangerous road debris. Still, from the few times I have had to contact law enforcement, I know how valuable interaction between the community and police can be, especially for securing peace of mind. For instance, last spring Chris and I called the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office to report a noise that we thought might be a possible emergency. It sounded a woman was screaming as loud as she could in the woods just across the road. Without hesitation, the county sent a deputy to our house to take a statement and drive around the area listening and looking for anything suspicious. Fortunately, we all quickly concluded that it was most likely one of the local bobcats, which have an eery ability to howl like a screaming woman, but it was comforting to know that our local law enforcement listens to its citizens’ concerns and values our input. And in the terrible event that that suspicious noise had been the result of a violent crime, the interaction between me, Chris, and the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department might have provided valuable clues. It takes the combined efforts of a community and it’s protectors to provide the safest possible environment for everyone.

In celebration of today’s “unofficial” I stopped by Stafford County’s National Night Out event on my way home this evening. Unfortunately, I had to fly solo since Chris was playing in his fourth company softball game. This year’s NNO was sponsored by Target, so our local event was setup conveniently close to home, in Stafford’s Target parking lot.

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