What began as a program of simple front-porch gatherings of neighborhood watch programs has become a national celebration of the partnership between law enforcement agencies and community volunteers.  It's National Night Out and it's happening today all across the country.

Matt Peskin was a community watch volunteer in Philadelphia in the late 1970's when he started a newsletter that was distributed throughout other watch groups in the area.  He soon realized that were hundreds of these organizations around the country without an association to connect them.

Peskin founded the National Association of Town Watch in 1981.  Watch groups around the country now had a way to connect with each other and with local law enforcement.  From this growing association came the idea for the National Night Out campaign (NNO). The aim was to bring law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations, and volunteers together for one special night each year to celebrate their partnership.

The first National Night Out was held in 1984 and involved 2.5 million people gathering on front porches in 400 communities across 23 states.  Today NNO has evolved into a national celebration with more than 38 million citizens in 16,000 communities across the nation participating.

Tonight is National Night Out and Bossier Parish is preparing for 19 block parties that will be held in neighborhoods and communities throughout the parish between 5 and 9pm.  Bossier deputies will be at each location along with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office motorcycle patrol, K-9 teams, mounted patrol, and parish firefighters and EMTs.

Here is a complete list of the participating neighborhoods and the times of their events:

  • Fire District #5 Training Center    600 block of Kilgore Rd.                    6-9 p.m.
  • Plain Dealing                                Oak Hill Baptist Church                     6-8 p.m.
  • Kingston Plantation                      200 Cat Tail Dr.                                  6-9 p.m.
  • River Ridge                                  100 block of Country Club Dr.       6-8:30 p.m.
  • Cross Creek                                 Regent Circle (cul-de-sac)                 6-8 p.m.
  • Rosedale Place                            Trinity Drive (clubhouse)                    6-9 p.m.
  • Willow Lake Adult Community     100 block of  Willow Lake Blvd.     6-8:30 p.m.
  • Twin Point Drive                           100 block of  Twin Point Dr.               6-8 p.m.
  • Woodlake North                            Boat launch parking lot                      6-9 p.m.
  • Woodlake South 2                        Morning Glory Cir. (cul-de-sac)          6-8 p.m.
  • Bellevue Road                              4000 block of Bellevue Rd.      6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Dogwood South                            300 block of Blue Fox Cir.                  6-9 p.m.
  • Dogwood Park                              Clubhouse                                     5:30-7 p.m.
  • Sterling Ranch Estates                 #5 Sterling Ranch Road North           6-8 p.m.
  • Creekside                                     Children’s Park                         6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • The Lakes at Cottonwood             200 block of Stillwater                       6-8 p.m.
  • Barksdale AFB                              West gate entrance housing office    5-7 p.m.
  • Haughton Cornerstone                  Joe Delaney Park                              5-7 p.m.
  • Woodlake South                            4000 block of Caroline Dr.                 6-8 p.m.


More From News Radio 710 KEEL