The San Marino Police Department and San Marino Fire Department held its annual San Marino Night Out on Tuesday evening.
National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event in the United States, held the first Tuesday of August. Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday in October.
National Night Out 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. National Night Out began simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes.
San Marino Police Chief John Incontro said the event was successful.
“The San Marino Police Department hosted National Night Out,” Incontro said. “It was a great success for families, friends and most of our community to attend. Everyone had an amazing time.”
Fire Chief Mario Rueda said that the event really belongs to the Police Department, but “It is an opportunity for responders to meet and get to know those we serve, and it helps to learn those things that are important to residents,” said Rueda.
The first National Night Out involved 2.5 million residents across 400 communities in 23 states; National Night Out 2016 involved 38 million residents in 16,000 communities across the United States.
The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts.
The events are typically organized by block watches, nonprofit organizations, companies,
and police departments. These events can be as simple as backyard cookouts or as complex as full-blown festivals like the one on the west side of Columbus, Ohio. The South Central Hilltop Block Watch in Columbus organizes one of the largest, which includes live music, food, and entertainment.
In Oxnard, California, neighborhoods such as Sycamore Senior Village have cookouts, live music, dancing, and visits by police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics with safety demonstrations, exhibits, and projects for all residents.