Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton to celebrate the 36th annual National Night Out in Chicago. With community events hosted in every police district in the city, Chicago's police officers, residents, neighborhood-based organizations and community leaders are coming together as part of the nationwide event to help build relationships and promote community partnerships in an effort to make neighborhoods across the country safer.
"National Night Out shows us the power of peace through community partnerships," said Mayor Lightfoot. "From police to pastors to public officials, each of us plays a role in creating change in our neighborhoods, which is why residents from across Chicago are coming together tonight to stand hand-in-hand against violence."
As part of National Night Out, events planned by Chicago Police districts and residents include peace rallies, community bicycle rides, outdoor movies, concerts and outdoor roll calls. Police and neighbors will also have block parties, cook-outs and enjoy entertainment while children take part in games and contests at the various locations.
"We're only as strong as the relationships we maintain with our community partners," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson. "National Night Out is a chance for our officers and Chicagoans across the city to stand in solidarity against violence, and for public safety."
National Night Out recognizes that community-based crime prevention is the most effective and sustainable strategy to build safer neighborhoods. Enhanced community policing strategies give residents the opportunity to assist police in fighting local crime while increasing public trust in – and reinforcing the legitimacy of – law enforcement, both of which have been shown to reduce crime.
“Tonight we thank everyone who has dedicated themselves to making our neighborhoods a safer place for our children and families," said U.S. Senator Durbin. "We’re all in this together, and we stand in partnership with one another.”
Today's events build on CPD's comprehensive community policing strategy – led by the Office of Community Policing – that is designed to make residents an active partner in preventing and reducing crime in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods. That strategy recognizes that police, residents, neighborhood stakeholders, and other City agencies must work together to address all the conditions that can lead to crime.
“Strengthening partnerships between law enforcement and local communities can help make our cities stronger and keep our families safer—and that’s what events like National Night Out can do,” said U.S. Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud to join Mayor Lightfoot, Senator Durbin, Lieutenant Governor Stratton and all those coming out tonight in solidarity to help protect our neighborhoods from violence.”
Culminating annually on the first Tuesday in August, millions of people across all fifty states take part in National Night Out. Since 1992 every Chicago police districts has hosted National Night Out, bringing the police and the neighborhood together for an evening of community-building.
“I’m so proud to participate in National Night Out alongside Mayor Lightfoot and other public officials,” said Lieutenant Governor Stratton. “I’m committed to continuing to work directly with our communities to make sure that they are healthy and safe.”
National Night Out was introduced in 1984 in an effort to increase community participation in crime prevention initiatives, and send a message to criminals that drugs and violence will not be tolerated in communities. The initiative was conceived by the National Association of Town Watch, a non-profit crime prevention organization that works with community groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.