Neighborhoods across Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock are joining thousands of communities nationwide for the annual National Night Out event.
This year’s NNO will be on Oct. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. Altogether, thousands of community members, police officers, firefighters, city staff, volunteers and Williamson County staff will participate in this year’s event.
The event has become the night the community celebrates the partnership between police and community, Leander Police Chief Greg Minton told the Hill Country News ahead of last year’s event.
“No police department can police their community alone, it requires the voluntary support and involvement of their community,” Minton said. “That is why National Night Out is so important to the City of Leander and the Leander Police Department.”
The idea is to get hosting neighborhoods out of their homes, getting to know their neighbors with barbecues and block parties, as well as take the opportunity to meet with the city law enforcement and get to know them as people and community members.
Part of what makes the event special is the opportunity to meet with citizens socially, something most police officers don’t often get the chance, said Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix said.
“It’s a positive interaction between police and the community and we get to visit with folks under circumstances we wouldn’t otherwise have,” Mannix told the Hill Country News in 2017. “We get to explore their role as community crime watchers, too, y’know, see something, say something, and being comfortable with reporting crimes.”
Several Cedar Park City Council are planning on doing ride alongs with police to the different communities, too, Mannix said.
National Night Out was established in 1984 as a time to celebrate police and community partnerships and promote crime prevention efforts. Cedar Park and Leander have hosted the annual event for more than a decade and last year Leander received national recognition for participation, placing no. 2 in Texas and no. 16 in the nation for cities with populations between 15,000 and 49,000.