Kilgore Police Department is getting the word out even earlier this year: Kilgore Night Out is back the first Tuesday in October, and homeowners are invited to take the lead in planning local parties.
There were 13 neighborhood gatherings on KPD’s roster in October 2017, and Patrol Lt. Tony Stone is always eager to top the prior year’s number.
National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, aimed at heightening community awareness and curtailing crime, especially with drug-prevention efforts. While communities across the United States celebrate NNO in early August, most Texas towns opt to beat the heat and push the celebration back a couple of months.
With plenty of time to spare, KPD is spreading the word and recruiting residents to make their homes the locus of linking neighborhoods with the first responders who look after them.
“We’re gonna do something a little different this year,” Stone said Thursday. About a month before Kilgore Night Out, “I’m gonna have a kick-off event,” hoping to inspire homeowners to hold a block party for their stretch of road and to give them pointers about what works best to draw their neighbors out for the get-togethers.
All past hosts will be invited to the organizational meeting, and “If anyone is interested in hosting a party in their neighborhood, they can come ask questions if they have them.”
The kick-off meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the training room at the Ronnie D. Moore Public Safety Center behind Kilgore PD (attached to Kilgore Fire Station No. 1).
KPD has been the annual host for Kilgore Night Out in recent years after taking on the organizer’s role from Kilgore Chamber of Commerce.
“It allows the citizens to interact with the police officers that show up at their events and therefore form relationships with one another,” Stone said. “That’s Community Policing 101 right there.”
For more information or to register a Kilgore Night Out party, contact Stone at Kilgore PD’s non-emergency number at 903-983-1559.