Communities across South Jersey planned to come together the evening of Aug. 4 for National Night Out, an annual event intended to foster a closer relationship between local police departments, first responders and community leaders and the people they serve.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many departments to cancel or postpone their events.
National Night Out, held annually the first Tuesday in August, has grown since 1984, when it drew 2.5 million people across 400 communities in 23 states, according to the national campaign’s website. Currently, 38 million people in 16,000 communities across the nation take part in the event.
Officials in Longport have canceled their National Night Out event.
Cape May County
The Lower Township Police Department is following the recommendation of the national organizers of National Night Out and postponing the event until the first Tuesday of October, which is October 6, according to a news release from the department.
"The Lower Township Police Department understands the importance of this event to our community and at the same time, realizes the need to ensure the safety off all our citizens," police said. "Stay tuned to Nixle and/or our Facebook page as details of the October event are released. Thank you for your patience during this time and we look forward to seeing everyone in October."
The Middle Township Police Department is following the recommendation of the national organizers of National Night Out and postponing the event until the first Tuesday of October, which is October 6, according to a news release from the department.
"Members of the Middle Township Police Department are disappointed, but realize this needs to happen to ensure the safety off all our residents," police said. "We will be releasing more details in the coming weeks for the October 6 event."
“National Night Out enhances the relationship between the residents of Middle Township and law enforcement while bringing a true sense of community," Chief Christopher Leusner said. "Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and residents together under positive circumstances. We look forward to hosting the 2020 National Night Out in October."
The Wildwood Crest Police Department is following the recommendation of the national organizers of National Night Out and is cancelling the event that was planned for August 4, according to the department.
"It is unknown, at this time, if the event will be rescheduled," police said in a news release. "This community event has been a great success, but out of an abundance of safety for our locals and visitors, we have decided to follow other police agencies and cancel."
The 2021 national night out will resume on August 3, 2021, police said.