A District IV Prince George’s County Police officer poses with a young local resident at a National Night Out event at Skyline Middle School in Suitland.

The national night dedicated to promoting crime prevention, building partnerships between the community and public safety departments, and having different fun at the same time, came back again. The 30th annual National Night Out for Prince George’s County was Aug. 5.

“I invite all Prince Georgians to join us for National Night Out tomorrow evening,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III said in a news release prior to the event. “National Night Out provides a great opportunity in a casual and fun setting for residents to meet or become better acquainted with our incredible public safety employees.”

National Night Out events took place in over 80 locations throughout Prince George’s County, including multiple activities in each of the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) communities. Out of the 80 communities, Baker visited Upper Marlboro, District Heights, Suitland, Fort Washington, and Oxon Hill. Alongside Baker, Office of State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, Sheriff Melvin High’s Office, the Prince George’s Police Department (PGPD), the Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security, and the Prince George’s Office of Community Relations will also participate in this occasion.

“Our neighborhoods are stronger and safer when our residents are aware, involved, and willing to come forward to report crime,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a news release. “Justice depends heavily on the willingness of witnesses to come forward and events like National Night Out reinforce the importance of community involvement.”

Residents are excited to learn more about their community, while they enjoy music games, and prize giveaways from their respective neighborhoods with family, friends, and neighbors. “This is my 10th year going and I learn something new and meet new people each year,” Jackie Waters, of District Heights, told the AFRO.

“I believe crime is the biggest problem in our society today,” Craig Johnson of Bowie said. “I’m glad to see that the turnout has increased each year because people need to hear about what crimes are going on and how to prevent them.”

Young attendees at a National Night Out event in Landover pet a K9

Young attendees at a National Night Out event in Landover pet a K9.

National Association of Town Watch (NATW,) a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs, created this event in 1984. National Night Out, previously known as ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime,’ was created to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie, and to send a united message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Currently, 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide participate in National Night Out. “The Prince George’s County Police Department is always excited about interacting with members of our community and National Night Out is the perfect opportunity,” Prince George’s Police Department Chief Mark Magaw said in a news release. “It showcases the strong partnership between our police officers and the communities we proudly serve.”