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West Windsor Police Department will hold National Night Out

The West Windsor Police Department’s annual National Night Out event is back after a one-year hiatus and is set for Aug. 3.

National Night Out was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Night Out will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the West Windsor Community Park, Princeton-Hightstown Road. The event is intended to bring the West Windsor Police Department and the community it serves closer together.

The event is free and is a great way to see familiar faces and make new friends, municipal officials said. Many West Windsor police officers will be on hand. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians will be there, too.

There will be activities for children, including inflatables, plus music and entertainment. There will be plenty of food, thanks to the food trucks that will set up shop.

This year marks the 38th anniversary of the first National Night Out in 1984, which was held in 400 towns and 23 states, according to the National Association of Town Watch, which sponsors the event.

National Night Out has been celebrated annually in more than 16,000 communities nationwide, in U.S. territories and on military bases. The goal is to forge positive relationships between the police and the community.

The National Association of Town Watch grew out of the efforts of a Lower Merion Township, Pa., man. He volunteered for the Lower Merion Township Community Watch program that worked in conjunction with the township’s police department, according to www.natw.org

The man soon discovered there were similar “neighborhood watch” groups in neighborhoods on the Main Line in suburban Philadelphia, but there was no coordination among them and no shared platform to connect, the website said.

A few years later, the National Association of Town Watch was formed to provide community watch groups with the necessary information, resources and assets they needed to stay informed, interested and motivated.

National Night Out was introduced in August 1984 through a network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations, and volunteers.

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