By Lana Clifton
Bryant residents are invited to participate in the 26th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Activities will begin at 6 p.m. at the Bryant Public Safety Building located at 312 Royal Lane in Bryant. Family activities are planned, and hot dogs, drinks and cake will be available. The event will end at 8:30 p.m.[more]
Residents who do not wish to come to the Public Safety Building may still participate in the nationwide event by locking their doors, turning on outdoor lights and spending the evening outside in their neighborhood.
National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). The Bryant Police Department, Bryant Fire Department, Friends in Christ Lutheran Church and Target are co-sponsors of the local event. Target also plays a larger role as a national corporate sponsor.
Participation in National Night Out has grown over the last 26 years. According to NATW, 2.5 million Americans in 400 communities in 23 states participated in the first National Night Out in 1984. In 2008, the number of participants had increased to 37 million people in 15,449 communities in all 50 states, United States territories, Canadian cities and military bases all over the world.
The NATW states that the annual event was designed to increase awareness and participation in local anticrime efforts.
NATW Executive Director Matt A. Peskin said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. 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.”
National Night Out is about awareness for the citizens and officials who wish to prevent it, but, according to the Bryant Police Department, it is also intended to send “a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”
Peskin said, “On Aug. 4, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us in giving crime and drugs a going away party.”