Fairfield hosts its first National Night Out in about 15 years on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at the Justice Center on Pleasant Avenue. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
Photo: Michael D. Pitman
Photo: Michael D. Pitman

Fairfield prepares for second annual National Night Out

National Night Out is an annual program designed to build communities and improve police-community relationships. Millions of people take part in National Night Out events across thousands of communities in the United States, according to the National Association of Town Watch, the organization that founded the program in 1984.

Fairfield’s National Night Out is set for 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday in the parking lot of the Justice Center at the corner of Pleasant Avenue and Nilles Road.

“It’s important for us to connect with community members and citizens that will be interacting with the police,” said city spokesperson Jenny Dexter. “We would just like the entire city to come out, residents and families, meet police officers, see what the police officers do on a daily basis, ask questions and just be open to learning more about the police and having the police know who the citizens are.”

Among other activities, there will be information booths for the department’s Explorer’s program and the Citizen Police Academy, tours of the police department and emergency response vehicles.

The city put on its first National Night Out in about 15 years last year, and several hundred people came out to the Justice Center. That gave the department and city the incentive to not only continue the event, but to expand it.

While it brings police officers and the community together, it also builds on the sense of community, said Fairfield Police Maj. Ken Gerold.

“It brings the city together,” he said. “People not only talk with the police officers, but they get out and talk with other residents.”

Gerald said he’s hopeful this year’s event sees a bigger turnout than last year’s National Night Out.