National Night Out

Thirty-seven neighborhoods in Naperville locked their doors, turned on their lights, and went outside to enjoy an evening out in their community for National Night Out.

The annual event is celebrated nationwide to promote crime prevention programs, strengthen neighborhood bonds, and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Naperville has partaken in the celebration for 19 years now, and each year more communities join in on the party.

“It’s so good to see people out here enjoying each other, and having a good time while they’re doing it,” said Naperville Mayor George Pradel.

One community in the Knolls of Huntington continued its 15-year-old tradition with the “Wheels NNO Parade,” allowing anyone to participate, as long as they’re on wheels.

Another neighborhood in Timber Creek went all out with a bouncy house for the kids, grilling for adults and plenty of first responders with their equipment and vehicles.

“For the Naperville Police Department it’s a chance to get out in the neighborhoods, along with the Fire Department and other city services too,” said Naperville Deputy Chief Brian Cunningham. “But the biggest thing that I’ve noticed about National Night Out is the chance for the neighbors to meet each other and that’s the most important thing to me.”

“I think for the adults, it’s fun to introduce their kids to that and to get together with their neighbors. In a way it’s kind of a block party,” said Naperville City Councilwoman Judith Brodhead.

Benedictine University set up an actual block party on its campus for visitors to interact with different types of law enforcement like the DuPage County Sheriff, DEA, and a member of the K-9 Narcotics division.

Events were held throughout the night including childrens games, hay rides, and an impaired driving course that officers set up to show people the effects that alcohol has on vision.

“National Night Out is a great event, I wish we could do it once a week,” said Cunningham. “But it’s only one time a year. If you took a little bit of this and brought it out throughout the year, that would be great.”

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