PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — National Night Out is a nationwide event observed by many communities. According to the National Night Out website, the purpose of the event is to form relationships between community members and law enforcement.
It began in 1984, and currently, about 16,000 communities host events nationwide. These are often street parties with food and games. It typically occurs on the first Tuesday of August.
The Peoria Police released a statement saying it is tradition for city leaders and staff, police officers, and firefighters to make their rounds to all the neighborhood events in Peoria.
One such event is happening Tuesday night, August 3, in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood. The event is a collaboration between the East Bluff Community Center, East Bluff Community Neighborhood Association, East Bluff Housing Service, and more.
One event organizer, Jessie McGown Jr., said this year’s event will center around a theme of respect. He said the idea is to start a dialogue among the community; if residents showed each other more respect, it could help reduce crime in the city.
“We going to come up with some things that you shouldn’t be doing, things that you should be doing. Things that we can do better. I will say this: the problems– they are our problems,” McGown said. “We didn’t create them, we didn’t cause them, but they’re our problems. So, if they’re going to be solved, we need to be the ones to solve them.”
McGown said that while police are welcome to the event, it is up to the community, not the police, to end the long-term issues. He said he wants to show that the East Bluff neighborhood is more than the violence the community faces.
The event will be held at 5 p.m. at 1917 N. Wisconsin Ave. in Peoria.