NYPD celebrates annual National Night Out Against Crime throughout city

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Night Out Against Crime returned across the Five Boroughs on Aug. 3, with the goal of bringing cops and the communities they serve closer together.

The annual event takes place on a national level with police departments throughout the United States and Canada, and is intended to strengthen relationships between communities and officers through food, games and crime prevention information.

The event was back in full swing on Tuesday evening throughout parks and other open-air locations. After a year that has seen police and public relations strained, civilians and those in uniform joined together to have some fun.

Officers were able interact with members of the community. Photo by Dean Moses

At the National Night Out in Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, the 1st Precinct commemorated the occasion with a live DJ, cotton candy, popcorn, painting, and other free activities for children at 89 South Street. 

Business owners, community groups, members of Transit District 2 and local residents excitedly greeted one another as Captain Thomas P. Smith of the 1st Precinct kicked of the event with a short speech.

Attendees snacked on cotton candy. Photo by Dean Moses
There was a live DJ, popcorn, and activities for all to enjoy at the 1st Precinct’s Night Out. Photo by Dean Moses

“Building a strong community is a shared responsibility and together we can make this happen,” Smith told the crowd.

Captain Eric S. Sandseth of the Transit Bureau District 2 joined the 1st Precinct’s Night Out at the South Street Seaport. Photo by Dean Moses

Smith became the captain of the 1st Precinct in December and shared that he is excited to begin fostering a strong relationship between officers and the neighborhood through monthly community council meetings, quarterly Build the Block meetings, social media platforms, and various programs wherein officers venture into the field and meet with residents.  

Children had their arms painted with colorful designs. Photo by Dean Moses

“We have a great community here at the 1st Precinct. As members of this community, it’s important for us to work together with each other and our elected officials. Priorities with us here at the 1st Precinct is public safety, quality life and building relationships. Being here tonight proves to all of us and to you that we care about our community and together we are going to strengthen this community,” Captain Smith said.

Balloon swords and flowers were distributed to children. Photo by Dean Moses

In addition to the revelry, the department also awarded Elizabeth Williams the Civilian Accommodation Award from the Police Commissioner’s Office for her work helping the community council transition after their president, Anthony Notaro passed away from cancer. They also thanked her tireless efforts aiding the Downtown area.

Elizabeth Williams was surprised to receive the Civilian Accommodation Award from the 1st Precinct. Photo by Dean Moses

“I’ve been doing this for 12 years and it’s been one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done,” Williams said, thanking the officers.

A representative from the mayor’s office was also present to provide a proclamation for the Night Out event.

A representative from the mayor’s office shared a proclamation declaring August 3 NYPD Night Out. Photo by Dean Moses

Similar to the Lower Manhattan event, the 13th Precinct held their own affair in Gramercy, hosting their Night Out at the Augustus St. Gaudeus Playground on 20th Street and Second Avenue.

The 13th Precinct fried up barbecue for attendees. Photo by Dean Moses

Here, families and community members of all ages were treated to freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. Not only that, on site artists sketched free caricatures for attendees to take home.

At the 13th Precinct’s Night Out, children were able to have fun jumping in a bouncy castle. Photo by Dean Moses

While the adults discussed the neighborhood with NYPD officials, the sound of laughter echoed from a bouncy castle filled with elated children. There was even balloon swords and flowers created.    

Participants received free caricatures. Photo by Dean Moses

At both locations, and events all around the city, the NYPD offered free books and other gifts for those who choose to spend the night with their local precincts.

The 6th Precinct celebrates its night out in the Village, with Democratic City Council nominee Erik Bottcher among the participants.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD6pct
City Council Member Carlina Rivera presented proclamations to the 7th Precinct during its Night Out on the Lower East Side.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD7pct
Cops and community members together at the 7th Precinct National Night Out on the Lower East Side.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD7pct
A proclamation presentation at the 9th Precinct National Night Out event.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD9pct
Manhattan DA Cy Vance with Captain Ralph Clement and Shawn McMahon, NYPD Chief of Crime Strategies Unit.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD9pct
Officers receive a proclamation during the 10th Precinct National Night Out at the Fulton Houses.Photo via Twitter/@NYPD10pct