Introduced in 1984, the very first National Night Out involved 2.5 million Americans in 400 communities in 23 states and it took place on Tuesday, August 7th of that year. It now is an annual event every first Tuesday in August, involving block parties, neighborhood safety walks, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits, parades, rallies and marches, cookouts, youth events, safety seminars, and even the simple act of turning on your porch light. This is all to bring communities closer together and to reduce crime.
Events vary for one location to another. Some cities host numerous events today (someone them in the daytime) and others have just a single evening event. There are some parts of the country where there is no organized observance today, but this does not mean you can do nothing. Talk with your neighbors and see what kind of neighborhood watch programs you might establish. Also, the porch light program is a good one. From 7pm to 10pm turn on your porch light tonight as a symbol of your involvement and your connection with others in your community.
There is some National Night Out merchandise that is available at http://natw.org/superstore/ and while I realize it is too late to get things for this year, it's certainly not too early to begin thinking of next year. Whistles are among the items they offer and what a great tool they can be in keeping folks connected. You might also want to join the facebook page HERE.
When we work together it can make a huge difference and how wonderful that communities come together to protect against crime. Of course it should not be limited to just one day and all of the things that are celebrated in events across the country on National Night Out, should be put into daily use. Get involved!