Criminal Justice club members Cody Graves (at left) and Kaylee Dean with McGruff the Crime Dog..Two months after neighbors gathered with local police agencies for the National Night Out, 'America's Night Out Against Crime,' the event came to communities across Texas. The August 4 date of the national event was pushed to October 6 in Texas to avoid the worst heat and mosquitoes of August. "
Two months after neighbors gathered with local police agencies for the National Night Out, 'America's Night Out Against Crime,' the event came to communities across Texas. The August 4 date of the national event was pushed to October 6 in Texas to avoid the worst heat and mosquitoes of August. It was a humid night in Port Arthur and Port Neches, but crowds gathered to participate in the effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts. It didn't hurt that Port Arthur had a parade through town while Poprt Neches offered free food, live music and a movie.
The National Night Out has come a long way since it was introduced in 1984. That first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out. By 2009, that number had grown to 35.4 million people in 11,310 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
The Port Neches Police Department hosted their 2nd National Night Out Texas Celebration at the Port Neches Riverfront Park with free links, drinks, pizza and popcorn and a movie selected by public voting on the Neches Federal Credit Union website. "Monsters vs. Aliens" was projected on a large, inflatable screen sponsored by Madnonnie.com.
Displayed in the park was an assortment of emergency gear to thrill the 8-year-old boy in everyone, including a helicopter from the Jefferson County Sheriff's office, the SWAT van, Marine unit, local EMS services, the Port Neches Fire Dept's new 100-foot ladder truck, Crime Stoppers and a special appearance by McGruff the crime dog. Also offered were wrist bands and child ID kits alongside signup tables for the Neighborhood Watch program and assistance with signing up for NIXLE.com.
The band "Riding High" played a spirited set to get things going, with Port Neches Police Chief serving as host and master of ceremonies.
Meanwhile, a parade in Port Arthur brought the National Night Out to neighborhoods across the city, starting downtown near City Hall and winding through town to end up at the Central Mall parking lot, where a similar assortment of food, fun and games were waiting.