LA PLATA, Md. - The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) recently recognized the Charles County Sheriffs Office for its successful efforts and active participation in the 23rd annual National Night Out crime-, drug- and violence-prevention program. The Sheriffs Office has received the National Night Out award for at least 13 years, and has participated in National Night Out since 1991.
I want to thank all the citizens and businesses and the men and women of the Charles County Sheriffs Office for once again raising the bar and making this the best-ever National Night Out, said Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. The partnership between law enforcement, citizens and businesses in our community in strong, and that is evident not only during National Night Out, but throughout the year. Our partnership has helped us reduce crime and make our community safer, and continuing to work together will only strengthen Charles County.
The Sheriffs Office received a Category II award, which is for jurisdictions with populations between 100,000 to 299,000. The NATW takes several factors into consideration when they review award nominations, including outdoor participation, outside lights-on participation, media coverage and weather conditions. The participating law enforcement agencies must make efforts at National Night Out to improve police and community relations, heighten crime prevention awareness, boost community spirit and enlist new volunteers. Charles County ranked 13th among the 26 award winners in this category, which received hundreds of entries.
National Night Out is one of the most popular events coordinated by the Charles County Sheriffs Office. The event is held every year on the first Tuesday in August, but preparations begin as early as February.
The Sheriffs Office increased participation in National Night Out from 124 neighborhoods to 137 neighborhoods, the highest number of neighborhoods to participate in history.
This year, 40 businesses participated in National Night Out by serving as drop-off locations for coloring contest submissions, opening their doors to offer free items or hanging banners for the event. Businesses first began actively participating in National Night Out in 2003 when 16 businesses joined in the festivities.
National Night Out was introduced in 1984 by NATW in an effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts. The first year, 2.5 million Americans in 400 communities in 23 states participated. This year, according to NATW, 35.2 million people 11,125 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide took a stand against crime during National Night Out, the events largest turnout in history.
For more information about National Night Out, call Connie Gray, community organizer for the Sheriffs Office, at 301-932-3080.