Durham’s outstanding demonstration of positive police-community relationships on National Night Out (NNO) August 4, 2015, has again earned the City of Durham top national rankings by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). For its observance Durham was ranked No. 11 among 121 similar-sized cities across the United States for its overall NNO campaign, neighborhood participation, law enforcement involvement, media and promotional campaign, and special events. Durham competes in Category 2 which evaluates cities with a population of 100,000 to 299,000 residents.
“Durham’s strong NNO tradition and synergy is certainly an example of how residents and police can come together consistently around crime prevention and safety with positive results,” says Chief Jose Lopez Sr. “The NNO ranking reflects a community-wide effort including residents, elected officials, public safety agencies, education, businesses, faith leaders, media, human service groups, etc. How can Durham maintain that commitment and follow-through year-round to be able to significantly diminish the root causes of crime and violence? Just like the NNO observance, the Durham Police Department plays a vital part, but cannot affect results alone,” says Lopez.
In 2015 the department registered and supported more than NNO 100 event sites representing more than 140 Durham communities and groups. Among them were 16 first-time NNO communities and 25 first-time NNO neighborhood coordinators. Key law enforcement and public safety involvement included the Durham County Sheriff’s Department; Duke University Police Department; North Carolina Central University Police Department; the Durham Fire Department, Durham CrimeStoppers and Partners Against Crime.
The City of Durham debuted on the NNO awards scene in 2006 and each year following has consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 participating communities of similar size. The Durham Police Department coordinates the City’s observance each year.
Two Durham NNO Neighborhoods Cited Nationally
Also in 2015 Durham’s Azalea Park and University Estates communities were among 10 neighborhoods nationwide that earned NNO honors in Category 10: Neighborhood/ Community. There were 62 entries in all. Both Durham communities are veteran NNO award recipients having earned the distinction multiple times.
About National Night OutNNO is “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” Spearheaded annually by NATW, it is observed the first Tuesday in August. The purpose of NNO is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships. In 2015, an estimated 37.8 million residents across the country and 16, 124 communities observed the 32nd annual NNO. For more information, visit the NATW website at www.nationalnightout.org.