Get Ready to Get Out on National Night Out

Photo from the 2021 National Night Out event in Opelika. This year's events will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 2. PHOTO BY ROBERT NOLES / THE OBSERVER




As part of an annual initiative, citizens of Auburn and Opelika are inviting individuals, families and local agencies to come together Aug. 2 to create safer, more unified communities.

The goal of each National Night Out is to raise awareness of local public safety, crime prevention, education, health and youth programs. Both local events will feature their respective law enforcement agencies, as well as other organizations and nonprofits.


An Auburn-focused “National Night Out” event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Ag Heritage Park, located at 620 S. Donahue Dr.

In Auburn, attendees can expect a K9 demonstration, fire demonstration, opportunities to meet school resource officers, Touch-a-Truck, free food and more.

“The city of Auburn is excited to partner with Auburn University to host National Night Out, an event that truly celebrates community policing,” said Sidney Hancock, public relations specialist for the city of Auburn. “Auburn Public Safety is committed to nurturing the relationships it has with the communities we serve. Many of our relationships begin with young students, their families when they first enter Auburn City Schools. With the start of the school year right around the corner, we hope parents and children will stop by our ‘Meet Your SRO’ booth to get to know their school resource officer. This event provides first responders, students and their families an opportunity to interact through fellowship and positive exchanges. National Night Out reaffirms the concept of everyone working together, bringing a true sense of community.”

Local organizations present will also have information, giveaways and activities to entertain attendees of all ages.


In Opelika, the Concerned Citizens group is spearheading efforts to bring together agencies and nonprofits, including the PRF Institute, to inform the public. A thank-you gift will be given to the first 25 people who RSVP by Aug. 1, according to event information from the PRF Institute.

The Opelika event will take place at Bandy Park, 300 Jeter Ave., from 5 to 8 p.m.

Oscar Penn of the Concerned Citizens of Opelika encouraged members to wear their memorial T-shirts to the event to remember loved ones.

“Stopping the violence is our responsibility as a community,” Penn said in a Facebook post.

National Night Out, as it is known today, was established in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, according to The event sought to go beyond symbolic efforts to build camaraderie in communities by sparking larger celebrations where residents could learn more about the resources available to them.

“National Night Out was introduced in August of 1984 through an already established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation,” the website reads.

Those organizations joined to provide exhibits, seminars, fun activities, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

The first National Night Out saw about 2.5 million neighbors in 400 communities across 23 states come together. Since then, about 38 million neighbors have participated in 16,000 communities. National Night Out is held each year on the first Tuesday in August.

For more information, visit


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