Get to know neighbors on National Night Out Aug. 11
August 1, 2018
I’m going to start out with a few rhetorical questions.
These may not seem related, but stick with me, it will come together. When was the last time you got together with your neighbors?
Do you know them well, or is it more of a quick wave from the driveway? And secondly, are you familiar with the police officers in your community?
Do you know what services they provide, how to reach them, and when?
These two sets of people make up an important part of our community experience, at an individual level and collectively.
Police-community partnership is important for the safety of our community, and it enables our police force to stay in touch with what community members need from them, beyond emergency response and patrol.
Having a relationship with your neighbors is a source of support, camaraderie, and even networking. It’s a fundamental to a strong, healthy community.
In this time of Wi-Fi, binge watching and all kinds of entertaining technologies I was curious about neighbor interactions. It was not surprising to find data showing neighbors interact much less than they did 30 years ago.
The New York Times printed, “only about 20 percent of Americans say they spend time with their neighbors, and nearly a third of the population reports no interaction whatsoever with the people who live nearby” based on data from a 2015 General Social Survey. In the 1970s, nearly 30 percent of Americans reported hanging out with their neighbors at least twice a week.
So what to do about it? In addition to simply making an effort to know your neighbors, National Night Out is coming up Aug. 11. This is an annual, nationwide program that brings communities together and promotes police-community partnership.
Neighbors get together and hold a block party or barbecue, play games, enjoy food and drinks together, and ultimately, connect. This program helps us overcome the Wi-Fi culture which isolates us from one another and creates real, human connection.
National Night Out also invites the men and women of GRPD to stop by the parties. The best part is you can engage our police officers in some friendly neighborhood fun and games. This is your chance to have a pie eating contest or water balloon fight with GRPD officers. The best party, voted by GRPD, gets a trophy and, of course, bragging rights around town and on social media.
GRPD is going all out to support this event. There will be a police department open house earlier that day with lots of fun games and prizes for families. For information on the Open House and to participate in National Night Out visit GRPD’s Facebook page, or contact Jamie Green 872-6155.