Maddie Worledge takes a turn directing a firehose during National Night Out 2018 in the Meadows neighborhood.
Across the nation, on the first Tuesday of August, communities will come together to celebrate positive connections between the community and local law enforcement.
For the 36 year in a row residents are encouraged to turn on their lights, lock their doors, and spend the evening outside with their neighbors from 6 - 9 p.m. on Aug. 6.
The nationwide celebration is called National Night Out (NNO). It is co-hosted by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and local police departments, including the Keizer Police Department (KPD)
“Most of them (events) take the form of a block party,” said Matt Peskin, the founder of NATW and NNO. However, some communities have done larger, more centralized events in the past.
“The only organized events associated with NNO are the block parties coordinated by residents,” said Dorothy Diehl, community outreach specialist for the KPD. A block party needs to be registered at the National Night Out website, natw.org/registration/, and the NATW provides resources to help plan.
“Some groups are large enough that they host their party in a nearby park, but most take place in driveways and front yards,” Diehl said.
Since the event aims to foster connections between community members and local law enforcement the KPD, along with the Keizer Fire District and Marion Country Fire District #1, will be dropping by parties to say hello.
“Organizers who register their party with the police department can expect a drop-in visit from a police officer sometime during the evening.” Diehl said.
Parties can be registered with KPD at www.keizer.org/national-night-out-2019. Registration needs to be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.
“The officer will have some information to share with the group and will be happy to answer any questions that neighbors may have.” she said.
Some officers will be accompanied by other police or city staff. Because of the numbers of parties officers will not be able to stay for the whole time, however they do want to make time to talk with community members and answer any questions.
Neighborhood Watch block captains are encouraged to organize a party for their neighborhood but all neighborhoods are welcome to join in. The Keizer Police Department’s website suggests cookouts, potlucks, dessert socials and youth activities, in addition too or instead of a block party.