Madison’s ‘National Night Out’ set for Oct. 3
MADISON — Police fire officials are teaming up for “National Night Out” this fall to meet the community on a more personal level by listening to different neighborhoods and teaching residents the ins and outs of the city’s first responders.
NNO is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live.
The event was established by Matt Peskin in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been held annually since 1984. In the United States, the event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. It began simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes, and involved 2.5 million residents across 400 communities in 23 states.
NNO is typically held on the first Tuesday in August and October, and MPD chose October due to the cooler weather.
Lt. Micah Taylor, who oversees traffic division and special events for MPD, said NNO enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, along with providing a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
“Events like NNO give us both the chance to listen to different neighborhood problems ranging from speeding and running stop signs,” Taylor said. “And yes, there’s even crime in Madison.”
Taylor said MPD is teaming up with the Madison Fire Department to bring resources out to each neighborhood, such as patrol cars, motorcycles, K-9s, fire engines and rescue trucks.
“For each neighborhood that is participating, the scheduling will be released as the date gets closer and plans are finalized,” Taylor said.
Madison Police Chief Gene Waldrop said MPD is looking forward to spending the night out meeting residents.
“It’s a good exchange of information from them to us and us getting a feel for these communities and what they see as issues,” Waldrop said. “Our officers enjoy it and we have a good time with our community. It’s open to all subdivisions in Madison, but it comes down to whether their HOA is open to participate.”
Waldrop said the department is making arrangements to stop at all participating subdivisions to teach residents about what MPD does.
“We go into safety issues with all the subdivisions and tell them what we do,” he said. “We’ll have motorcycles out there along with K-9s and such, as we’ll have a good time. Some subdivisions have hamburger cookouts and ice cream socials for this, they’ll have things for kids to do, and more. It’s a good time to be out to mingle with our folks.”
The date this year for NNO is Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. If a neighborhood would like to participate in the event, contact the police department at (601) 856-6111 for more information. MPD will coordinate with the Madison Fire Department on times and locations of each event.