National Night Out raises community police awareness

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National Night Out is an annual event held on the first Tuesday of August to promote community police awareness.  This year’s 35th annual National Night Out will be held on August 7th, 2018.  Designed to help raise awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and anti-crime efforts, the events are organized by block watches, non-profit organizations, companies, and police departments.  Many times these events are as simple as backyard cookouts or can be as large as block parties.  Several local communities are participating including Millbridge, Lawson, Cureton, Anklin Forrest, Quellin, Hillcrest, and possibly Prescott with each community coming up with their own way to celebrate partnership with their local law enforcement.

Officer Victor Montalvo, known as Officer Vic, is a Master Patrolman 2 with the Waxhaw Police Department as well as a popular Dare Officer.  He joined the Waxhaw P.D. five years ago after 21 years of service with the N.Y.P.D.  He will be participating in this year’s event and explains some of the history.  “It has been held annually since 1984 and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States.  National Night Out began simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes. The First National Night Out involved 2.5 million residents across 400 communities in 23 States. National Night Out in 2016 involved over 38 million residents in 16,000 communities across the entire United States.”

“Residents are always our first line of defense in fighting and solving crimes. When you get out of your home and meet your neighbors, you’re showing that you’re invested in the betterment of that neighborhood.  Our residents know what goes on in their neighborhood and what is not supposed to go on in their neighborhood.  So, if we can create trust between our agency and our communities then we will receive more input and information to help be more proactive than reactive in crime prevention.”  Officer Vic also wanted to point out that “even though our officers do such an amazing job, day in and day out and crime is extremely low in Waxhaw, it is still crucial to stay proactive and get involved with others to continue this trend.  Community policing is exactly what being proactive is all about.  The key word is Community and without our communities being involved, our job becomes that much harder.  We cannot do the exceptional job that we do without all of their assistance, support, input and involvement.  So please take a few hours out of your day, Tuesday August 7th, and come out to support something that is so very important.”

For more information or to organize an event in your neighborhood, please contact Officer Victor Montalvo at the Waxhaw Police Department.

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