The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting National Night Out at Flagler Palm Coast High School Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., in conjunction with school resuming six days later.
The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Target, Kona Ice and For Any Event. Flagler County residents are encouraged to come and pick up some valuable crime prevention information.
The evening will feature back to school fun, safety tips, and enable participants to meet local law enforcement and some great Flagler County youth organizations. There will be community vendors, games, a bike rodeo with free helmets, and much more. The sheriff’s SWAT, Motors Unit, Marine Unit, K-9 Unit, School Resource Unit, COP volunteers, and others will be there, as will Sheriff Rick Staly.
“An engaged community is a safe community. This event is a great way to bring the community and law enforcement together, get to know one another, and build a safer community,” Staly said. “I hope you and your friends and families will join us for a night of back to school fun for a safe school year and join us in learning how to prevent crime.”
Target is a national sponsor of this event that is organized by the National Association of Town Watch. It is sponsored locally by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and its Police Athletic League.
The National Night Out event will feature demonstrations from the Sheriff’s K-9 unit and motor units. Police Departments from Bunnell and Flagler Beach will be on site as well as units from the Flagler County Emergency Services Division.
National Night Out is in its 36th year. It is nationally sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, and is held on the first Tuesday in October in parts of the country.
That first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out, according to nationaltownwatch.org. Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans took part in 1984. Participation has grown steadily. The 35th Annual National Night Out last August involved some 38 million people in 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. Some 123 Florida communities participated last year. National Night Out 2012 was expected to draw out 15,500 communities.
While the traditional ‘lights on’ and front porch vigils remain a part of National Night Out, activities have expanded considerably over the years to include block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from police, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie,” National Association of Town Watch Executive Director Matt Peskin said. Peskin created National Night Out. “While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year. It [NNO] is a night to celebrate safety and crime prevention successes – and to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”