CARTERET — Carteret has been honored as a “National Award Winner” by the National Association of Town Watch for its “outstanding participation in the 2011 Annual National Night Out” crime, drug and violence prevention program, Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Skippy Sitarz have announced. The National Association of Town Watch is the national sponsor of the National Night-Out Project.
On Aug. 2, Reiman, the Borough Council, and the Carteret Police Department joined with residents to participate in the 28th Annual National Night Out. The program was first established by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) in 1984 as a unique crime and drug prevention event, through which residents and community leaders host gatherings in towns throughout the United States, to reassert their commitment to crime-free neighborhoods.
According to the NATW, National Night Out is designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
In Carteret, the event drew enough participation to grant the town its ninth consecutive NNO National Award for participation. Locally, the event typically includes block parties, cookouts, visits from Mayor Reiman and the local police, exhibits, flashlight walks, and youth programs.
There were 48 towns from across the country chosen in Category 4, which is for towns of population 15,000 – 49,999, three of them from New Jersey. According to the National Association of Town Watch, there were hundreds of entries in this category. Some of the criteria by which Carteret was chosen included the Overall Campaign, Neighborhood Participation, Law Enforcement Involvement, Media and Promotional Campaign, Special Events, and Post Project Report.
According to NATW, this year’s event was the largest ever involving more than 37.1 million people in more than 15,325 communities from all 50 states, US territories and military bases worldwide. Over 800 adults and children in the Borough of Carteret took part.
“For us the program has been a great way of celebrating Carteret’s diversity,” Reiman stated, “and the neighborly appeal of our residential areas. In August we once again joined with residents to demonstrate that Carteret is a close-knit community that values its streets and public treasures.”
The National Association of Town Watch (NATW), the non-profit sponsoring organization of National Night Out, partners with the Borough administration and police department to make sure there are no financial barriers to participation. In Carteret, the involvement of residents is voluntary. Food and promotional items distributed by participating residents are donated, which is part of what makes this a special evening.
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