Despite today’s rainy forecast, a number of Durham communities are still hopeful about holding National Night Out (NNO) events this afternoon and evening.
The Durham Police Department had over 40 neighborhoods registered with the agency to observe America’s Night Out Against Crime this year. “It is very gratifying that, for nearly two decades, residents and neighborhoods have been committed to this police-community outreach program,” says Senior Public Affairs Specialist Kimberle Walker of the department’s Public Affairs Office. “Durham residents’ enthusiasm for NNO has remained consistent even in the midst of a pandemic.”
According to Walker, community sentiment was a large factor in the department proceeding with the observance this year. As of early afternoon, Durham City and County officials as well as State leaders were planning take part in neighborhood NNO events planned by residents, weather permitting.
Traditionally, DPD has observed NNO on the first Tuesday in August. Spearheaded by the National Association of Town Watch, NNO is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; strengthen neighborhood and spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Residents across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In Durham, NNO events are typically for the residents living in the registered neighborhood or community. For that reason, DPD does not publicize the list of NNO sites. When events are community-wide, those events are promoted publicly. However, there are NNO neighborhood coordinators who have expressed they are willing to be interviewed as part of NNO promotions. A few communities have decided to postpone events due to the rain. Most neighborhood coordinators will make a determination by 3 p.m. whether to hold or cancel their activities. Some have indoor alternatives.
IN THE EVENT OF A TOTAL RAIN-OUT: At this time, DPD has not decided to set an alternative observance date. Administrators are also monitoring COVID-19 trends to be able to make a decision in the best interest of the community.