A National Night Out party host advises us, “Get to know your neighbors. Community doesn't just happen, it takes everyone to make it.” The first National Night Out (NNO) event, organized decades ago, had a simple premise. Neighbors would sit on their porches and turn on their porch lights because crime was less likely to happen on a street where neighbors were out, connected and observant. NNO has become an annual event celebrated across the country on the first Tuesday in August. On this day, neighbors host and attend small block parties or neighborhood events to strengthen their relationships with one another in the spirit of creating safer neighborhoods.
Neighborhood cohesion helps deter crime. “Criminals want to be anonymous, to go unnoticed,” says Stephanie Reynolds, Crime Prevention Program Manager. “When neighbors know and look out for one another, pay attention to what is happening on their street and report crime, it goes a long way towards creating a safe neighborhood.” Connected neighbors are also more likely to be invested in what happens in their neighborhood and work together to solve problems and make the neighborhood a better place. That connection also lays the foundation for cooperation that is vital in the event of a major disaster where emergency services may be unavailable for days and weeks. We encourage you and your neighbors to host a National Night Out party in your neighborhood to get acquainted with neighbors and reinforce existing relationships. A party can be as simple as inviting neighbors to bring over a chair and a potluck dish and sit in the front yard. It may be a more elaborate one with a street closure, organized activities or an event in a park.To find out information about hosting a party, please see our website at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno.
To make your Portland party official, you will need to register with the City at portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno. The benefits of registration include the ability to request police or fire fighters to attend your event, noise variances, party ideas and more. Although it is beneficial for safety officials to meet neighbors at this event, there are no guarantees that police and fire will be able to attend all registered parties despite their best efforts to do so.
National Night Out Details:
NNO Date: Tuesday, August 2nd
Registration Dates: June 7th-July 19th.
Find a party in your neighborhood: Toward the end of July, find an event near you at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno
When neighbors take responsibility to build and maintain livable and cohesive neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are less vulnerable to crime and neighbors feel more assured. A NNO party is a great way to foster those relationships and create a safer neighborhood.