Senator Chuck Wiger: National Night Out
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
Living in a safe community where you know your neighbors and trust your local police and fire units is of utmost importance – and the goal of National Night Out.
The annual “America’s Night Out Against Crime” is celebrating its 34th year on Tuesday, August 1. The night is dedicated to neighborhoods coming out, spending time together and promoting various crime prevention programs, including neighborhood watch groups, law enforcement agencies and more.
Many neighborhoods throw a block party and spend more time getting to know each other and building relationships with their local police and firefighters.
I have always been a strong supporter of this night. The event helps strengthen neighborhood spirit and builds trust with local law enforcement. Building trust is especially important in light of extra media attention on poor relationships between communities of color and the police forces that serve them.
I know that our local police forces are made up of strong, smart men and women who take seriously their role to protect our communities. It’s my hope that everyone in our corner of the northeast metro shares this same view of our police and fire units.
Dozens of neighborhoods across the Twin Cities will be among the 16,000 communities that celebrate this night each year. In fact, more than 38 million people are expected to participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime.’ Celebrations are held in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, and even Canadian cities and military bases around the world.
Below I’ve listed links to local city websites that have information about Night Out activities and how you can get involved.
- Maplewood: http://www.cityofmaplewood.com/
- White Bear Lake: http://www.whitebearlake.org/
- North Saint Paul: http://www.northstpaul.org/
- Oakdale: http://www.ci.oakdale.mn.us/
- Paul: https://www.stpaul.gov/
I hope you’ll join this nationwide celebration by turning your front porch lights on as a symbolic vigil of neighborhood watch. I’ll be out and about attending several National Night Out celebrations, meeting with constituents and enjoying the camaraderie of the evening. Most gatherings begin at 5 p.m. and run through 9 p.m.
I’d also like to remind everyone that when we work with our local police and fire departments they can do a better job of protecting our communities. I urge everyone to take a moment to talk to their law enforcement officers when they see them out and open those lines of communication.
For more information on National Night Out, visit their website at: http://natw.org/about/
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions regarding any issue. I encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you would like me to stop by your home or apartment. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and by phone at 651-296-6820. My cell is 651-770-0283.
This column was first published in the White Bear Press.