National Night Out promotes partnerships
Yasmine Regester | 8/8/2013, 9:46 a.m.
Dozens of residents and Greensboro police filled many
neighborhoods across the city Tuesday night for National Night
This unique crime and drug prevention event sponsored locally
by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD)encourages
communities to gather to promote a positive neighborhood
spirit and police-community partnerships.
Greensboro is one of hundreds of U.S. cities that participates
in National Night Out (NNO) every year. The purpose of the
event is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness,
generate support and participation for local anti-crime
programs and to send a message to criminals letting them know
that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
GPD also urges communities to develop organizations like
neighborhood associations and community watch groups to build
trust between neighbors and share information pertinent to the
This year was Officer L.D. Gey's ninth year participating in
National Night Out and she noted she sees the difference it
makes in the community. “There is a feeling of unity on nights
like this. The community is able to make personal connections
with the police officers that patrol their neighborhoods. It
also allows the youth to feel comfortable interacting with law
127 neighborhoods across Greensboro celebrated this year with
a variety of events such as block parties, youth events, and
cookouts with visits from city council members and local
police and fire departments.
“We try our best to make sure we include all the neighborhood
associations and churches on National Night Out. Many people
have lived here for years and don't know their neighbors,”
said Wanda Ford, an organizer of National Night Out at New
Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr.
Some residents take advantage of the community fellowship,
such as 84-year-old Mary Elizabeth Black, who has served as
the Arlington Park Neighborhood Association president for 23
years. Black has engaged in National Night Out activities
since its inception 28 years ago. “I love my community,” said
Black. “Those of us who have lived here all our lives get a
chance to get out and mingle with our neighbors and find out
what is going on from street to street.”
NNO also brought out state representatives. N.C. House
District 58 Representative Alma Adams attended National Night
Out at her home church of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
“The community needs National Night Out. People are
distressed, hungry and hurting and to have a chance to come
together and lean on each other is very important. There is
always a safe, cordial atmosphere on National Night Out.”