National Night Out – Tonight
National Night Out-Turn on the porch light and spend the evening outside!
Families all over Southwest Louisiana are encouraged to participate. No dues, no registration, just turn on the porch light and spend some time with family and friends in your neighborhood!
The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a nonprofit, crime prevention
organization which works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law
enforcement agencies throughout the country. Since 1981, NATW has been dedicated
to the development, growth and maintenance of organized crime and drug prevention
National Night Out, ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime,’ was introduced by the
Association in 1984. The program was the brainchild of NATW Executive Director Matt
In an effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime
efforts, Peskin felt that a high-profile, high-impact type of crime prevention event was
needed nationally. At that time, he noted that in a typical ‘crime watch community’,
only 5 to 7% of the residents were participating actively. Due to the growth and success
of these programs, he felt this percentage was too low. Subsequently, he proposed a
national program which would be coordinated by local crime prevention agencies and
organizations - but that would involve entire communities at one time. The first
National Night Out was introduced early in 1984 - with the event culminating on the
first Tuesday in August.
That first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out.
Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans took part in 1984. The seed had been planted. In
subsequent years, participation has grown steadily. The 28th Annual National Night
Out last August involved 37.1 million people in 15,325 communities from all 50
states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. National Night
Out 2012 will culminate on August 7th. Over 15,300 communities are expected to
take part. (Texas will celebrate on October 2nd.) For more information, visit
While the traditional ‘lights on’ and front porch vigils remain a part of NNO,
activities have expanded considerably over the years to include block parties, cookouts,
parades, visits from police, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies
Peskin said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote
police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie.
While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National
Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to
make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year. It [NNO] is a night to
celebrate safety and crime prevention successes - and to expand and strengthen
programs for the next 364 days.”