National Association of Town Watch & National Night Out
Once upon a time, we kept our porch lights on. We opened the door even if we didn’t know who rang the bell. And, We could leave the back door unlocked during the day.
NATW is the nation’s premiere non-profit crime prevention organization dedicated to the development and promotion of crime prevention in communities across the nation.
National Association of Town Watch is a network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and concerned citizens. Through that network, NATW was able to launch National Night Out and its other various assets.
What if there was one night a year when neighbors across the country came outside, locked their doors, and turned on their porch lights in effort to let criminals know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back?
Neighborhoods across the nation host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
NATW is the nation’s premiere non-profit crime prevention organization dedicated to the development and promotion of crime prevention in communities across the nation. National Association of Town Watch, founded by Matt A. Peskin, works with law enforcement officials and civilian leaders to keep crime watch volunteers informed, interested, involved and motivated.
National Association of Town Watch launched the first edition of their annual NewSpirit Newsletter later that year in November, 1981. The NewSpirit Newsletter enables NATW to connect with law enforcement agencies and crime watch groups across the nation to share news stories, important tips, suggestions, and more. Download the latest edition, here.
NATW’s Executive Director, Matt Peskin introduced National Night Out in 1984. The first National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 7th, 1984. That first year, 2.5 million neighbors took part across 400 communities in 23 states.
What began as neighbors coming outside, locking their doors and turning their front porch lights on to meet one another became an annual celebration to let criminals know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
The seed had been planted.
National Night Out now involves over 38.1 million people and 16,540 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
NATW launched project365 in August, 1993 to extend the efforts of crime prevention, police-community partnership and neighborhood camaraderie beyond National Night Out. The yearlong program provides neighbors an opportunity to work together with the assistance of law enforcement to build a safer neighborhood. The program utilizes the goals of National Night Out to encourage local communities to work together towards a common goal over the next 365 days.
National Association of Town Watch created the Dog Walker Watch Awareness Program to encourage dog walkers nationwide to serve as “extra eyes and ears” for local law enforcement agencies in their ongoing crime prevention efforts.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of neighbors out in the community at all times of the day, all days of the week, in all weather conditions.
A cohesive effort between police and the community provides an opportunity to train individuals how to effectively observe and report criminal activity.
… a chance to bring neighborhoods together with the men & women who protect them. The safety of our communities depend on both law enforcement and the citizens they serve, and tonight’s events will enhance that cooperation.Joe Biden
… the best way to prevent crime is to know your neighbors & your surroundings. National Night Out triumphs over a culture that isolates us from each other and allows us to rediscover our own communities.Kay Bailey Hutchison
… preventing and solving crime is a community effort. National Night Out is an excellent program that helps the department build relationships with citizens and create safer neighborhoods. This is one of the events we look forward to each year.Chief George Turner