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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  National Night Out

National Night Out


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

National Night Out 2009

Police departments across the nation are gearing up for this year's National Night Out festivities which are scheduled for August 4th.


According to National Town Watch, "Last year's National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 34 million people participated in National Night Out 2008."


The goals of National Night Out are as follows:

  1. Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
  2. Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts
  3. Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
  4. Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back

This event promotes an incredible amount of good will and should be held by every police department in the nation.


How do we start our own National Night Out program?


Getting a National Night Out program off the ground is not that difficult.  Before beginning, get yourself a looseleaf notebook.  Here, you will record names, addresses, and telephone numbers of everyone you deal with while planning the event.  This will keep you organized.

Location for National Night Out

First, find a location for the event.  The location you choose should be convenient to residents and businesses, and, if possible, in a high traffic location.  You want to make sure that you will have access to electricity and bathrooms.

Financial Support

Contact some local businesses for financial support as well as your own union local.  Make sure to have a specific account solely for National Night Out and be careful to follow all fundraising regulations.

Set up Activities and Events

Lower on the page are some examples of what various police departments offer in the way of activities.  For your first year, don't get in over your head.

Once you have chosen the activities you should set up a diagram of the area where your event is being held.  Pencil in where each of the activities will be held.  This will help keep you organized.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Your work will have been wasted if no one shows up.

Promote early, and promote often.  Local and regional newspapers, flyers given out at summer youth programs, agency website, city newsletter, local radio stations, and flyers around town are some ideas to help you get the word out.

Recruit Officers to Work

Okay, this one is important.  You don't need Officer-I-retire-next-month-and-couldn't-give-a-crap-about-nuttin as a representative of your police department. 

Find personable officers who are going to mingle and start conversations with kids and citizens.  The idea of this event is to have them walking away with a better opinion about us, not a worse one.

Okay, this is a brief outline with some suggestions.  If after the first year it goes well, you can expand it.  For larger jurisdictions, you can hold several simultaneous events within your town or city limits. 


What activities are other departments offering during their National Night Out event?

Below is a quick list.  If you know of other interesting activates being offered during National Night Out which are not listed below, please email us.

Apparatus Review
  Police Cars
  Other Police Vehicles
  Fire Trucks
  Police Bicycles

Police Demonstrations
  SWAT Entry
  Bike Patrol
  Motorcycle Patrol
  Mounted Patrol

Face Painters

DJ or Band with PA system

Pony Rides


Inflatable Amusements

Youth Competitions
  Egg Toss
  Running Races
  Watermelon Eating, etc.
  Scavenger Hunt

Food and Barbeque Area

Popcorn Machine

Rock Climbing Wall

Health Mobile
(Free eye, ear, whatever screenings in areas not so affluent)

Dunk Tank  (Not Drunk Tank)

Bicycle Rodeo


What is National Night Out?

National Night Out is an evening where law enforcement officers, business people, children, and parents all get together for a very wholesome gathering of fun and friendship.


How do I find the National Night out Event closest to me?

Just call your local police department.  If they do not sponsor such an event, they should be able to tell you which police department does.

And, be sure to watch the newspapers.  Often, they run stories a week or two ahead of time on which police departments will be sponsoring a National Night Out event.


National Night Out






Pitman Schedule

For Officers

How do we start our own National Night Out program?

What activities are other departments offering during their event?

For Citizens

What is National Night Out?

How do I find the National Night Out Event closest to me?















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