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Communities across South Central Pa. gather for National Night Out

The nationwide campaign is held annually on the first Tuesday in August.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — From Harrisburg to York, communities were out and about on Tuesday for National Night Out, along with the men and women in uniform who protect them every day.

“This is an opportunity for something positive, not just the same old thing, social media," said Captain Milo Hooper. "This is something positive and people can leave here and say ‘You know what, maybe I need to look at things differently.'"

The National Night Out campaign is held every year on the first Tuesday in August in cities and towns across the country.

This year, block party-style events were back in full force after a couple of years of scaled-back gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’re excited to kind of be back in action and have something large scale and get the energy up," said Sarah Chain, director of marketing and communications for Community Progress Council of York County.

Police say the night gives them a chance to interact with the public, especially the youth.

“You see the police vehicles are here, marked units, kids are playing in them and that means something to them," said Captain Hooper.

In a time when many cities are experiencing a rise in crime, and a drop of trust in law enforcement, Captain Hooper says the National Night Out initiative is more important than ever.

"When you start to personalize something, that’s when you start gaining that respect and that trust," he said. "A lot of times the police are looked at with [wearing] the badge [and] like not human."

Groups like Community Progress Council say the night is just as crucial for them.

“It’s easy, I think to kind of go in every day and do the work but not really get to know the folks around you," said Chain. “For us, it is an opportunity just to make a connection and build a relationship with the neighborhood that we serve."

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