Boston. “National Night Out” Unites Residents against Neighborhood Crime

August 06, 2013 — Mayor Thomas M. Menino this evening joined Police Commissioner Edward Davis, local law enforcement officials, Boston Police Neighborhood Watch and more than 1,000 Boston residents for the City’s 30th celebration of National Night Out.

National Night Out is a citywide celebration that cultivates and strengthens partnerships between the community, youth, police, city agencies and community-based organizations. The event also acknowledges the contributions Neighborhood Watch groups make to Boston’s safety and fosters community participation.

“We are fortunate to have such a strong public safety team in Boston, but we can’t do it alone. At the heart of community policing are our residents, business owners, faith-based organizations, community organizations, and especially the neighborhood watch groups,” Mayor Menino said. “We all must work together – public safety, public health, community organizations – because we all have the same goal: to keep our neighborhoods safe, to reduce violence, and create positive opportunities for our young people to reach their full potential.”

Entertainment at the 30th anniversary celebration at Malcolm X Park included performances by Louie Bello and Citi of Performing Arts, a Zumba class, and visits from Wally the Green Monster and McGruff the Crime Dog. Boston Centers for Youth and Families presented recreational games and the “City Hall to Go” truck offered its services to attendees. Representatives from Boston EMS, the Office of Emergency Management, the Boston Fire Department, the Elderly Commission, Boston Police Forensics, and the Boston Public Health Commission joined sponsor Target, Girl Scouts, Big Sister Association and many others to provide information and resources to residents.

Minister and former Boston television news journalist Liz Walker was awarded the 2013 Crime Fighter of the Year award at the event.

Through her work on the ministerial staff of Jamaica Plain’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Walker works with young people and is a spokeswoman for at-risk youth. She is a co-founder of the Jane Doe Safety Fund, a prominent advocacy group for survivors of domestic violence, and a cabinet member for One Family Incorporated, a non-profit family homelessness advocacy organization.

Walker’s tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Boston earn her the esteemed title of Crime Fighter of the Year.

The widely-attended event is part of Mayor Menino’s summer safety strategy emphasizing “more”: more outreach, more engagement, more officers, more collaboration and more technology. In collaboration with Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Chief of Human Services Daphne Griffin and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson, the Mayor has implemented a comprehensive public safety strategy geared toward expanding engagement between community members and public safety officials.
In addition to tonight’s event, the Mayor’s summer safety team along with other city departments established several new programs this year, including Flashlight Walks with Neighborhood Watch groups and Police Community Service Officers, a Streetworker Outreach Team to respond to crises of violence, and improved surveillance camera accuracy throughout the City. See also: National Night Out in Vancouver