National Night Out is commonly called “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” It was introduced in 1984 by the “National Association of Town Watch," a nonprofit crime prevention organization, and was started to encourage neighbors to turn on their outdoor lights and gather on their front porches, lawns and driveways. It was a way for neighbors to get to know one another and to heighten awareness, and strengthen participation in, local crime prevention efforts. Today, although this tradition remains, it has also been expanded to include other ways to get to know neighbors and become familiar with the neighborhood. Many citizens now organize block parties, ice-cream socials or meetings to promote crime prevention.
National Night Out is a nationwide event designed to generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and improve the relationship between the community police department and residents. To celebrate this year, all residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend the evening outdoors with their neighbors.