Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tonight Is NATIONAL NIGHT OUT; Millions to Join Forces for 'America's Night Out Against Crime'

WYNNEWOOD, Pa., Aug. 4th -- All across America tonight, citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses and local officials in over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide will join forces to mark the "26th Annual National Night Out" (NNO) -- which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) - in partnership with Target and Nixle. Nationally, over 37 million people are expected to participate in 'America's Night Out Against Crime' this year.

"This is a night for neighborhoods and police nationwide to come out and stand united against crime and violence," said Matt Peskin, creator of the event and its National Project Coordinator. "National Night Out offers a wonderful opportunity for citizens, community groups, law enforcement and local officials to get out, meet, greet and discuss local safety issues. These interactions go a long way in helping to make neighborhoods safer places."

Along with the traditional "lights on" and front porch vigils, there will be thousands of block parties, cookouts, ice cream socials, parades, neighborhood visits by local police and sheriff's departments, flashlight walks, safety fairs, poster and essay contests, and neighborhood meetings.

National Night Out is designed to:

1. Heighten crime, drug and violence prevention awareness;
2. Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
3. Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships;
4. Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

"Project 365," is a unique component to the National Night Out campaign. Tonight, many cities and towns across America will target a "problem area" (crime, drugs, graffiti, gangs, etc.) in their community. During the next "365" days, police and neighborhood groups will be working to solve or improve upon the problem. On National Night Out next year, they will announce the results -- and also select an initiative for the following year. Peskin said, "This is a great way to make positive changes in the community and to make the spirit surrounding Night Out to last throughout the year."

For more information, visit the Association's web site at http://www.nationalnightout.org/.

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