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Guest column: Why we do National Night Out
by Larry Jacobs
Guest Columnist
July 25, 2013 10:49 AM | 1724 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officer Larry Jacobs
Officer Larry Jacobs
National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” began in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police/community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Executive Director Matt Peskin introduced National Night Out. The first National Night Out took place Aug. 7, 1984. That first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.

The seed had been planted.

National Night Out now involves more than 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

The traditional “lights on” campaign and symbolic front porch vigils turned into a celebration across America with various events and activities including, but not limited to, block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies and marches, exhibits, youth events, safety demonstrations and seminars, in an effort to heighten awareness and enhance community relations.

“While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round," Peskin said. "The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”

The Sandy Springs Police Department and Sandy Springs Parks and Recreation have teamed up for this year’s event, which will be held at Hammond Park. The parks and rec event will start at 5 p.m. Aug. 6 on the turf field with potato sack races, face painting, tug-o-war and a water slide. The National Night Out event will start at 6 p.m. in the pavilion area with hamburgers, hotdogs, snow cones and popcorn. The Glenridge parking lot will be closed for a Sandy Springs Police and Fire Department display. Please park in the Hammond Drive lot. Come by and meet your Sandy Springs first responders.

Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached directly at

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