Cutting the cake during a National Night Out block party in 2018.

‘National Night Out’ planned for Aug. 3 in Grays Harbor County

On the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 3, neighborhoods throughout Grays Harbor County will join forces across the country with over 16,000 communities for the “National Night Out” against crime.

The Hoquiam Police Department said in a post to social media that they have been a proud participant for a long time and even though they couldn’t celebrate in 2020, they are asking for participants to host parties in their neighborhoods this year.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement, while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Most states celebrate the event on the first Tuesday in August. Some states, like Texas, celebrate on the first Tuesday of October.

The event began in August 1984 through an already established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations, and volunteers across the nation. The first annual National Night Out involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states.

“We are excited to bring National Night Out back to Hoquiam after having to cancel last year.” said Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers.

He said even though that most events will be hosted outdoors, “people can attend as they feel comfortable, but since the summer looks to be so pleasant we’re hoping neighbors get a chance to spend some time together.”

Myers said block parties are a good way to get to know people in the neighborhood.

“All you need to do is host a block party, invite your neighbors, and get to know each other better,” said Myers in his post. “We recommend inviting everyone over for a potluck or BBQ. Most block parties are from 6 p.m. to around 9 p.m. (Aug. 3) and are a great way to get together and have fun!”

Hoquiam public officials, police officers, firefighters, Crime Watch volunteers, and the McGruff “take a bite out of crime” dog will be dropping in at each block party in their city to visit and talk about important crime prevention and general safety tips.

National Night Out is designed, among other things, to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in local anti-crime efforts; and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

Most police departments are also providing free party items and barricades to shut down streets where appropriate to each block party host that registers. Check with local department for details.

“I’m excited to get back to block parties with the community and we’ve already had at least one registered with our department” said Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate.

“We are really looking forward to getting back out to the neighborhood gatherings and speaking with people in person,” adds Aberdeen Commander Dale Green. “It has been a challenging 16 months and we were disappointed we could not participate last year. We look forward to all the great people and of course potlucks and BBQ!”

To sign up for a block party or to obtain more information in Hoquiam, please contact Tracy Wood at 360-538-3970 or Deputy Chief Joe Strong at the Hoquiam Police Department at 360-532-0892, ext. 103 or jstrong@cityofhoquiam.com.

People interested in hosting an event in Aberdeen, please contact Officer Wayne Schmidt at the Aberdeen Police Department (360-538-4427) or wschmidt@aberdeenwa.gov.