NATW & National Night Out
National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs including neighborhood watch groups, law enforcement agencies, state and regional crime prevention associations, businesses, civic groups, and individuals, devoted to safer communities. The nations premiere crime prevention network works with law enforcement officials and civilian leaders to keep crime watch volunteers informed, interested, involved and motivated. Since 1981, NATW continues to serve thousands of members across the nation.
The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. NATW’s National Night Out program culminates annually, on the first Tuesday of August (In Texas, the first Tuesday of October).
NATW’s Executive Director, Matt Peskin introduced National Night Out in 1984.The first National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 7th 1984. That first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.
The seed had been planted.
National Night Out now involves over 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
The traditional “lights on” campaign and symbolic front porch vigils turned into a celebration across America with various events and activities including, but not limited to, block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies and marches, exhibits, youth events, safety demonstrations and seminars, in effort to heighten awareness and enhance community relations.
Peskin said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”
- March, 1981 ⇒ NATW Founded
- November, 1981 ⇒ First NewSpirit Newsletter
- August 7, 1984 ⇒ First Annual NNO Event
- August, 1988 ⇒ President Bush NNO Kickoff in Philadelphia (5th Year Anniversary)
- August, 1989 ⇒ NNO Kickoff at FBI Headquarters
- August, 1990 ⇒ NNO Ceremony on Peace Bridge (Buffalo and Ontario)
- August, 1990 ⇒ U.S. Air Force Weather Satellite Image on the Night of NNO
- August, 1991 ⇒ NNO Kickoff at DEA in Arlington, VA (1st Visit for an U.S. President)
- August, 1993 ⇒ NNO Kickoff at Justice Department
- August, 1993 ⇒ Project365 Founded
- April, 1994 ⇒ NATW Members Meet President Clinton
- August 3, 2004 ⇒ “Nat the Knight” Born
- August, 2008 ⇒ 25th Anniversary NNO at National Mall in Washington D.C.
- June 19, 2010 ⇒ National Night Out joins Facebook