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Oh, What a Night

National Night Out celebrates 30 years.

— Thousands of residents turned out across the city Aug. 6 as Alexandria celebrated the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, a program designed to promote neighborhood spirit and law enforcement-community partnerships in the fight against crime.

“We have a great turnout this year,” said West End resident Bill Jones as he grilled hamburgers at the Canterbury Square celebration, one of 35 that took place across the city. “This is a great chance to meet our neighbors and get to know our law enforcement personnel. More people should do it.”

A collaboration between local police departments and community organizers, National Night Out began as a simple display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils. The event has evolved into block parties and cookouts and an opportunity for local officials and law enforcement personnel to meet with residents of civic groups and neighborhood organizations.

“This is a great chance to get to know our law enforcement personnel. More people should do it.”

— Bill Jones, a Canterbury Square resident

“I appreciate the opportunity provided by our law enforcement partners to help spread the message of fire prevention and life safety to the community,” said Fire Chief Adam Thiel during a visit to the West Old Town Citizens Association event at the Helen Miller/Bernard Hunter playground. “And it’s a great way to promote community spirit.”