Originally Published: August 1, 2018 8:08 p.m.
Most law enforcement agencies in the quad-city area will be celebrating National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
National Night Out is an annual nationwide community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make local neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live, according to the event’s national website.
The idea is that for one night each year, neighbors in cities and towns throughout the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on their front porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and law enforcement. Along with the traditional outside lights and front porch vigils, most communities celebrate National Night Out by hosting block parties, cookouts and other various community events.
The Prescott Police Department (PPD) will be visiting about 17 different locations that are having various forms of gatherings Tuesday night, said PPD spokesperson Dave Fuller. Each gathering is expected to have anywhere from 10 to 200 people and involve snacks and/or a potluck atmosphere.
“Most of these settings don’t involve our personnel giving formal speeches, but offer a chance to just sit, chat and have positive interactions with members of the community,” Fuller said.
The department will try to have at least two of its members with different job duties visit each gathering so they can share different perspectives and/or specialties, Fuller said. Some communities may even have visits from the department’s chief, Debora Black, or its newest officers.
If you are a resident of Prescott Valley and wish to participate in National Night Out, there’s still time to sign up for the celebration, according to Town of Prescott Valley officials.
Those neighborhoods that plan and register a party may request visits from Prescott Valley law enforcement officers who patrol their neighborhoods. These officers can inform the gathering of specific crime statistics for their area, and offer tips on crime prevention and safety. Other departments such as animal control, code enforcement, public works, roads and utilities will also have personnel available to visit parties, according to a Town of Prescott Valley news release. Additionally, town council members and town management personnel will be stopping at National Night Out gatherings throughout the community.
“I can’t emphasize the importance of community and law enforcement engagement more strongly,” said Prescott Valley’s Chief of Police Bryan Jarrell. “The Prescott Valley Police Department works every day to gain your trust, and your participation in National Night Out will continue and build upon our philosophy of ‘policing for one community.’ Please join us and make this year our highest level of involvement to celebrate the Town’s 40th anniversary.”
For more information on how to start a Prescott Valley Block Watch, plan a party, or register a gathering for National Night Out, call Community Service Officer Rachel Montague at 928-772-5149, or visit the National Night Out web page at pvaz.net/354/National-Night-Out/.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office intends to celebrate National Night Out on August 7 as well. They’re asking their neighborhood watch groups to participate with deputies stopping by neighborhoods as time permits, said YCSO spokesperson Dwight D’Evelyn.
The county usually kicks off National Night Out with a concert on the Yavapai County Square two weeks before the official August date, but they could not get the appropriate date this year, D’Evelyn said.
Chino Valley will be hosting its National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 2. This is the first time the city has chosen to host their event the first Tuesday of October as opposed to the first Tuesday of August.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office intends to participate with Chino Valley on this date as well, D’Evelyn said.
(Editor's note. The event date on this story has been corrected since its original post.)