Time flies and the first Tuesday in August is just around the corner once again – which means that area law enforcement agencies and neighborhoods are gearing up for the 2019 National Night Out, just like others all around the country are doing.

The goal of the night – a nationwide night of block parties, cookouts and similar events – is to improve the relationship between citizens and law enforcement agencies as well as to increase the sense of community in neighborhoods and subdivisions.

This year, the first Tuesday in August falls on August 6, less than a month away.  The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is engaging in a public awareness campaign to promote the National Night Out and to encourage people and communities planning to host events to register now – either by going to the National Night Out website at https://natw.org or by calling the Sheriff’s Department’s Community Resources Unit at 336-641-3378.

Sheriff’s officials are also encouraging citizens to come out to an event near them on August 6 and interact with law enforcement officers in a positive way.

Many times when officers encounter citizens it’s under unpleasant circumstances where a person is, for instance, getting pulled over for speeding or handcuffed for being drunk and disorderly – however, the goal of the annual August event is to bring officers and the people they serve together under more pleasant circumstances.  Who knows, the next time you get pulled, rather than demanding, “License and registration!”  the officer may instead light up and say, “Hey, I know you.  I met you at National Night Out.  I’m not going to give you a ticket, but you need to watch the speeding.”

According to promotional information being distributed by the Sheriff’s Department, National Night Out is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.”

Every year, people across the country take part in National Night Out by hosting parties – and, in some cases, even safety demonstrations or parades – centered around law enforcement and emergency responders.

National Night Out is also an event in some US territories and at military bases worldwide.  Just about everywhere it is held on the first Tuesday in August, but one big exception is the state of Texas, which holds its annual Night Out event in October.