BEST SOUTHWEST—Despite triple digit temps hundreds of Best Southwest residents took part in National Night Out activities. For over thirty years the National Night Out campaign has been touted as an event that encourages and promotes positive relationships between law enforcement agencies and the people they serve. With the rash of officer-involved shootings across the country this year’s convergence of police and community members may have been more poignant than ever before.
National Night Out was established in 1984 as a free community-building event. Police departments and other emergency personnel meet the public and provide information. National Night Out is usually held the first Tuesday in August.
In the past states like Texas and Florida have had the option of postponing the event until October when the 100-degree days subside.
Traditionally the face time between police, business leaders, elected officials and residents is thought of as a community policing initiative.
“Thank you to all DeSoto HOAs [Home Owner Associations] that participated in National Night Out!” Said DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan. “Our city council, city administrators, school board trustees and school administrators joined DeSoto Police for an exciting evening with the citizens whom we have the honor and privilege of serving. Please continue to be engaged in our community. Remember, we’re all in this together.”
DeSoto boasted more than 10 neighborhood block parties Tuesday night. At each event there were fun, food and information for all in attendance.
Duncanville Police Department Certified Crime Prevention Specialist Doug Sisk who handles National Night Out says, “There isn’t a more important program that you can get involved in, when it comes to your own neighborhood. Some may know it as Neighborhood Watch, Town Watch, or Crime Watch. No matter what you know it as, this is the program for you. Crime prevention in a neighborhood, business district, or park is a community responsibility. Crime is not a police department problem, Crime is a community problem and it takes the community becoming partners and fighting crime.”
Police also say that the Neighborhood Crime Watch program can be a springboard for many other efforts to address the causes of crime, reduce crime, and target harden.
“Target Hardening is making yourself, your home, your car, your business and the community a harder target for the criminal. If we make things harder targets it will drive criminals out of the area, criminals are lazy and if something is harder for them to take or steal then they will go somewhere else,” Sisk adds.
Historically, Duncanville’s National Night Out is a well attended event, Sisk said of this year’s event “This year was another great success we have over 500 citizens attend and pick up some safety and crime prevention tips. We also made contact with a number of citizens to kick start their neighborhood crime watch in their neighborhood. We got the word out about the Nextdoor program and also the Duncanville Police Department’s Facebook page. We plan to follow up with neighborhoods with their own block parties and crime watch meetings.”