Longview police host annual National Night Out Kickoff event

Longview police host annual National Night Out Kickoff event
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Longview Police Department hosted its annual National Night Out kickoff event on Tuesday night at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. Those who are hosting a National Night Out event on October 3 were able to pick up party supplies for their neighborhood events.

National Night Out is a nationwide event that is aimed at preventing and battling crime by getting neighbors to know each other.

“I hear a lot of I haven’t met this neighbor or this neighbor and because of National Night Out and having these block parties throughout the city, they’re able to meet their neighbors,” said Longview Police Public Information Officer Brandon Thornton.

This is the 40th year of National Night Out nationwide. In Longview, Thornton says hosts used to pick up supplies at police officers before it was clear they needed a larger event due to the amount of demand.

“It was so big at one time prior to COVID that we decided we needed to get everyone in one place all together and that’s when we started having kick-off events, " said Thornton.

Police say that the kickoff is a great way for them to meet with the community in a casual setting.

“Unfortunately, when people are in contact with law enforcement, it’s the worst day of their life, “said Gregg County Public Information Officer Craig Harrington. “With National Night Out, they can come and they can meet us and have a good time and we can joke and it’s not in a serious nature.”

Community members say that National Night Out brings them closer to law enforcement. Heather Herzig is the Community Director at Evergreen Longview, a 55+ community that hosts a National Night Out party.

“Even Longview residents in general, not just my residents, feel a sense of community with our police department and our fire department, our city officials,” said Herzig.

National Night Out is Tuesday, October 3. Anyone who wants to host a party can head to the City of Longview’s website for more information.