National Night Out (NNO) is an annual campaign that aims to promote partnerships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Many coalitions choose to participate in this event as an opportunity to connect with community members and collaborate with other sectors. The Beauregard Prevention Coalition (BPC) has participated in NNO since 2019 and recently posted in the members-only CADCA Community about the upcoming activities they have planned for this year’s event.
“We are really excited about this year’s National Night Out. We have a very strong relationship with our local police department, so each year we try to do something bigger and better than the last. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into planning these events. In fact, each year we begin the planning process for next year’s NNO events after we conclude the current year’s,” said Charlotte Satcher, Prevention Coordinator at BPC.
“One of the activities that we have planned in the weeks leading up to NNO is a scavenger hunt. It’s great because the whole community can participate! All they need to do to join is download an app which will give them clues as to where NNO’s mascot, Nat the Knight, is hidden around town. Everyone who finds at least one Nat wins a small prize, but a grand prize goes to the person who finds the most.”
“Typically, we do a trial run beforehand to ensure it will work smoothly and that everyone has access to the app. When the scavenger hunt officially launches, it’s always fun to see the youth around town, getting involved and becoming invested in finding the mascots.”
In addition to the scavenger hunt, BPC has other community events planned with local partners to build up to NNO. At their community’s upcoming local watermelon festival, BPC will perform a skit from Andy Griffin – a theme they have incorporated into this year’s events – that shares a message about prevention and the importance of mental health. Other activities include a pie baking contest, classes on prescription drug safety at the local library for teens and the elderly, and a “Cones with Cops” event to provide a chance for community members to bond with their local law enforcement while enjoying ice cream.
“When we plan for National Night Out, we aim to include as many sectors as possible. Community leaders get involved, including mayors and sheriffs, as well as representatives from schools, military, local businesses and hospitals. This year we’re also partnering with the faith-based sector and potentially having them participate in our tug of war contest with local law enforcement and firefighters. We believe in building a cohesive community, and by partnering with others on these activities, we create awareness about our work and strengthen our relationships with sector leaders.”
“We believe strongly in partnering with other agencies because when we do, we have the potential for larger reach and better outcomes. It also gives us an opportunity to recruit more volunteers and provide education and information to new audiences.”
National Night Out will take place on August 2nd, with participating communities across the country hosting festivals, cookouts, parades and more. The BPC plans to set up a drunk driving simulator course and fingerprint station, as well as invite vendors and food trucks to participate during the night of the event. Join the conversation about NNO on the members-only CADCA Community.