August 8, 2002
Neighborhoods throughout Alexandria celebrated the 19th annual National Night Out with food, music and old-fashioned block parties.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime, drug and violence prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and ready to fight back. A number of Alexandria’s elected officials toured the city with police officers to support neighborhood efforts.
Councilwoman Redella S. “Del” Pepper attended nine celebrations. “It was a wonderful opportunity for us to show our support for the various neighborhoods and to talk with lots of citizens,” Pepper said. “And the food was wonderful!”
“It was a very successful evening,” said Lt. John Crawford, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department. “More than 25 communities participated and our officers were out in force enjoying the festivities. This event is always important but was particularly so this year in light of the events of Sept. 11. Those tragic events made it even more important for our officers to get out and mingle with the citizens we are hired to serve and protect.”
Beverly Steele attended the celebration at Essex House. “We have new management at Essex House, as of Aug. 1,” Steele said. “National Night Out was really an opportunity for new management, the newly-formed advisory board and the city of Alexandria to sponsor this community gathering. The purpose was for residents to participate in National Night Out, meet each other, to get to know new management and meet the members of City Council and the city manager.”
More than 100 residents attended and ate nearly 300 hamburgers and hotdogs.