National Night Out

Houston celebrates National Night Out tomorrow.  That's the night communites are supposed to throw block parties and band together to fight crime.  Technically it won't be a national celebration because the rest of the country had its National Night Out in August.

“So therefore I, Annise Parker, Mayor of the City of Houston, proclaim October 4th, 2011 as the 28th annual Houston Harris County National Night Out in Houston, Texas.”

National Night Out is a summertime event where neighbors and law enforcement get together to form friendships.  Those ties are supposed to help reduce crime.  But, because of the extreme summer heat, Houston and Harris County hold their National Night Out in the Fall, instead of August like the rest of the country.

“Weren’t we smart when we said ‘let’s do it in October instead of August, when the rest of the country does it.'”

All joking aside the mayor says National Night Out is one of the most important events on the city’s calendar.

“National Night Out is not about the police.  It’s not about the Sheriff’s Department.  It’s not about the constables.  National Night Out is about community.  National Night Out is about neighbors.  National Night Out is about citizens coming together to enhance public safety, working with our law enforcement partners.”

There will be block parties all over the city and county, with plenty of hot dogs and drinks and in some places games for kids. Police Chief Charles McClelland and Sheriff Adrian Garcia say it’s important for residents and officers to come together.

McClelland:  “We know that police can’t do it alone.  Citizens can’t do it alone.  It takes a combined effort.  And National Night Out is one of the basic tenants of police community relations.  It’s very, very important, and that’s why it was one of my number one, major goals when I became chief.”

Garcia:  “We’ve got folks who are equally concerned about the quality of life in their neighborhoods as much as we are. But it’s an opportunity for us to strengthen that relationship that we already have, and take it always to the next level that we are aspiring to achieve.”

National Night Out is just one night of the year, but Sheriff Garcia says it’s something that needs to be practiced every day.

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