Go Outside, Meet Your Neighbors

Tonight is National Night Out — and while many people forget such a day even exists — there are scores of events marking the community awareness effort. As Laurie Johnson reports — law enforcement officers say National Night Out is still one of the best ways to protect your neighborhood.

It’s National Night Out…sort of.

The rest of the country marks the occasion on the first Tuesday of August. But we live in Texas, so let’s be realistic about how well that’s going to go over. Instead, we are the sole state that has National Night Out on the first Tuesday of October. Sergeant Yvonne Cooper with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office says the event helps create a sense of continuity in neighborhoods.

“You know with high-def TV and air conditioning and computers, so many people go to work and go home and they go in their house. And what this does is allows people to get out, to get to know their neighbors, to create that neighborhood continuity to where we actually watch out for one another in our own neighborhoods.”

More than 70 events are scheduled throughout Harris County tonight. But Cooper says even if you don’t plan to attend an organized block party, it’s a good time to introduce yourself to your neighbors.

“Move the pit out on the driveway. Invite your neighbors over for coffee, invite them over for soft drinks or whatever but get out. Knock on a few neighbors door and say hey let’s be a part of this, let’s keep out own neighborhood safe, let’s get to know one another.”

National Night Out started nearly three decades ago, to build relationships between neighbors and law enforcement officers.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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