National Night Out

      National Night Out, a year-long community building campaign, is designed to: (1) Heighten crime prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation.” National Night Out was introduced by Matt Peskin, Director of the National Association of Town Watch in 1984 as “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” Peskin said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year. It (NNO) is a night to celebrate safety and crime prevention successes – and to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”

      In Sheriff Scott Franklin’s desire to fight crime and bring the community together, decided to join other communities and send the message to criminals that you “Quit, Move or go to Jail.” Mayor McMillin and Chief Smith with the Town of Jena along with Chief Stott of Olla have joined the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office in sending a message to criminals that crime will not be tolerated. Law enforcement agencies and the Mayor’s office want citizens to know they are here to serve and protect. When the community comes together to take a stand, the people will be heard and the community will be safer.

      This year’s events will be held as follows: The Town of Olla will host National Night Out on Saturday, Aug. 4th, 2012, 6pm to 8pm at the YMCA. The theme is “Ollapalooza, Make a Wave Against Crime.” The YMCA is hosting the event with Olla Police Dept and LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The pool will be open for families to enjoy while being educated on various safety issues presented by your local safety personnel. Hot dogs, water and goodie bags will be given to participants while supplies last. Also, participants can register for a chance to win a door prize.

      The Town of Jena will host National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug.  7th, 2012, 6pm to 8pm at the City Park Amphitheatre. The theme for Jena is “Giving Crime & Drugs A Going Away Party.” At commencement, balloons will be released by participants signifying saying “Good-Bye” to crime in Jena.  Mayor McMillin, Chief Smith and Sheriff Franklin would like residents and visitors of Jena to join them for this celebration. Hotdogs, water and goodie bags will be given to participants as supplies last.  Presentations by the Jena Police Department, visits with local officials and fun activities for the whole family.

     Both events will offer the community the time to visit with local safety personnel such as law enforcement, fire and ambulance personnel as well as city and parish officials. Download the Olla Flyer here or the Jena Flyer here.

The GEO Group Foundation Inc (LaSalle Detention Facility) donates $250 for the 1st Annual National Night Out events being held in August for Olla and Jena. Shown is Warden David Cole, Sheriff Scott Franklin and Brenda Sullivan.