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Law Enforcement and Philadelphians encouraged to come to August 7 National Night Out event

This year’s National Night Out will be held on August 7, and on that day Better Tomorrows, a national organization that supports youth, adult, and senior residents of affordable housing communities and their neighboring communities, will host a National Night Out carnival in the parking lot of the Courtyard Apartments at At 1021 S. 4th St.

Community members and law enforcement are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their front porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and law enforcement for National Night Out, an annual national event where police officers all over the country have the opportunity to engage with the communities they serve. This year’s National Night Out will be held on Aug. 7, and on that day Better Tomorrows, a national organization that supports youth, adult and senior residents of affordable housing communities and their neighboring communities, will host a National Night Out carnival in the parking lot of the Courtyard Apartments at 1021 S. 4th St.

This year’s event will have a theme benefitting support for mental illness. Organizations, including the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services will be on hand to give out information raising awareness about problems related to mental illness, according to Alexis Wright-Whitley, a social services worker for Better Tomorrows who helped organize the Philadelphia event.

Wright-Whitley called the event “a nice way to get the community together to stop violence and promote peace.”

Wright-Whitley, like many South Philadelphians, is particularly worried about gun violence in the area.

“This night will be really important to help combat that and figure out solutions to figure out how we can make that stop,” she said.

She also said engaging the community with law enforcement is an opportunity to create a dialogue between the two parties.

“It’s important we recognize that each of us are human and both police and members of the community’s lives are valued and important,” she said. “That’s not what we see on the news and YouTube videos.”

The event will also have a direct focus addressing and tackling issues and stigmas of homelessness and LGBTQ identity.

National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for our nation to stand together and promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement. When law enforcement and the community work closely together, some amazing things can happen.”

At last year’s National Night Out at Courtyard Apartments, Mayor Jim Kenney said, “This is a great thing to be a part of. Thank you for caring about this community.”

Along with the traditional outside lights and front porch vigils, most communities celebrate National Night Out by hosting block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and more.

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