Late 1970’s: Volunteer Work.
Matt Peskin, founder and executive director of National Association of Town Watch [ est. 1981 ] introduced the National Night Out program in 1984.
Rewind seven years. It begins in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Peskin spent several years volunteering for the Lower Merion Community Watch program, who works in cooperation with the Lower Merion Police Department. During his tenure of volunteer work in the township, he often patrolled his neighborhood, assisted in patrol dispatch and shortly thereafter introduced the program’s newsletter.
The newsletter became a representation of the success that took place within the organization and the volunteer work put forth by over one thousand neighbors. Opportunity to publish new and creative content became more and more difficult as each month passed. Peskin began to reach out to surrounding townships and communities for assistance.
And that’s where it all began. Peskin realized that hundreds of community watch groups existed without a platform or association to connect them together.