by Mayor Simison

Now more than ever it is important that we build strong relationships among our residents and first responders.  In Meridian, we pride ourselves on being one of Idaho’s safest cities, and can credit that to the mutual respect between citizens and our officers.  This respect has been earned through longstanding efforts that begin with education, and continue with each interaction that takes place between our police and fire departments and the community they serve.

One of our education efforts is the annual event called National Night Out, a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.  The event started in August of 1984 with 2.5 million neighbors participating in 400 communities.  Now 38 million neighbors participate in over 16,000 communities, all with the goal of making neighborhoods safer and better places to live!  Over the years, Meridian residents have been making real connections with their neighbors, the men and women that serve them in public safety and our elected officials. We want to continue to build upon those efforts and not lose the momentum this yearly activity brings as neighborhoods come alive with activity.

National Night Out is typically held in August. This year due to the unknowns of the pandemic, it was pushed back and will now take place on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020.  Precautions will be taken in conjunction with event organizers to ensure everyone’s safety during these unpredictable times.  

If you haven’t already decided to participate, I strongly encourage you to work with your neighbors and bring this great event to life in your own neighborhood.  National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighborhoods and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, something I think we can all use right now.  We never know when we, or a loved one, may be in need of critical services from our first responders.  Introducing our officers and firefighters in the neighborhoods during this event forms a relationship with them outside of an emergency situation and helps build trust, especially with our youngest populations. I have witnessed first-hand conversations that led to solutions for neighborhoods and relationships that flourish from a simple introduction on this night when people open up to one another and celebrate community.  

Though it may look a bit different this year, it will be wonderful to come together like we have done so many years before. To participate, please register your neighborhood today at meridiancity.org/NNO. If you want more information on ideas for your National Night Out event or how to plan an event, our Crime Prevention Unit would be happy to help you out and can be reached by email at crimeprevention@meridiancity.org. The men and women of the Meridian Police, Meridian Fire, and your elected officials look forward to seeing you in October!

Was this helpful?