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National Night Out Brings Communities Together With Law Enforcement

National Night Out has been an annual event since the eighties. Citizens are encouraged to go outside their homes to meet their neighbors — and local law enforcement officers — at various social events and block parties. It might be more important to participate this year than in previous years.

Law enforcement agencies — police, sheriff’s deputies, constables, METRO police — are fanning out across the area to meet and greet neighbors who’ve organized block parties.

Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo says “This is a unique opportunity to meet those neighbors, perhaps, that you may or may not know. But it’s also an opportunity to meet those officers who patrol in your particular community.”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo at the launch of the 33rd Annual National Night Out.
Ed Mayberry
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo, and law enforcement officers from various agencies, at the launch of the 33rd Annual National Night Out.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says this is a good year to take part. “We’ve managed to avoid a lot of the controversy that has dogged other parts of the country. But we’ve got to make sure that law enforcement and the neighborhoods understand each other. There are a lot of people who think ‘well, that’s somebody else’s neighborhood that has to deal with this.’ I live in West University Place. Never did it cross anybody’s mind were we gonna have an active shooter.”

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says this is a great opportunity to interact with law enforcement in a positive way. “To dialogue with your neighbors, cars that come and go in your neighborhood, to have an opportunity for your children to talk with law enforcement and understand each other.”

Chief Montalvo has participated in many previous National Night Out events. “I went to a birthday party one time, by accident, thinking it was National Night Out! And they did a National Night Out the very next year. Crashed the birthday party! It was excellent!”

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