Story by Ammie Bryant
Photos of 2016 National Night Out by Jefferson Bryant
The Stillwater Police Department Community Outreach Program (C.O.P.) will host its annual National Night Out block party on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. This year’s event will take place from 6pm to 9pm at Southern Woods Park and will feature fun at the splash pad, inflatables, games, prizes, and food. The dunk-a-cop tank—one of the highlights of last year’s event—is slated to make a return this year.
National Night Out is an annual community-building effort to promote partnerships between police and other organizations as well as to strengthen neighborhood relationships. The goal of the event is to help build the kinds of relationships that make communities safer, better places to live. The event is held annually on the first Tuesday of August with neighborhoods in thousands of communities in all fifty states as well as the U.S. territories participating.
Last year’s event was well-attended and featured support from a variety of local businesses and organizations. Some of the organizations who are expected to participate this year include LifeNet, Payne County Sheriff’s Office, Stillwater Emergency Mgmt, OSU Police Department, Stillwater Police Department Plus Tactical team, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Stillwater Fire Department, Stillwater Medical Center, Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wondertorium, RCB Bank, Eskimo Joes, MoJos Rock’n’Bowl Grill, Mexico Joes, Eskimo Joes Product Promotions, Kicker, OnCue, Stillwater Martial Arts, Barry Patton Farmers Insurance, OSU Athletic Marketing and Sales, Pistol Pete, EZ Squeeze Lemonade Stand, Cowboy Corner Snocone, the City of Stillwater Parks and Recreation Department, and the Stillwater Citizens Police Academy Alumni.
Established in 1984, National Night Out was made possible by funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, and is administered by the National Association of Town Watch, a nationwide organization dedicated to the development, maintenance, and protection of community-based law enforcement-affiliated crime prevention activities. National Night Out was developed as a crime prevention program that emphasizes building a partnership between the police and the community. Community involvement in crime prevention is generated through a multitude of local events, such as block parties like the one held in Southern Woods Park as well as cookouts, parades, contests, youth activities, and seminars.
The Stillwater community is invited to come out, bring their lawn chairs, footballs, basketballs, and frisbees and take the opportunity to get to know area first responders and their neighbors.