On Tuesday, August 4th, neighborhoods throughout Benton are being invited to join forces together for the Annual National Night Out (NNO) crime and drug prevention event.  This is the first NNO event hosted in Benton this year with others planned later this fall due to some of the groups not wishing to participate in the heat of the summer or for other logistical reasons.  
National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
This will continue to build stronger, healthier, neighborhoods with the quality of life that everyone desires and deserves. NNO also helps to build neighborhood partnerships & trust between police & community members. Although NNO is a one day/night of the year event, neighbors repeatedly report that the neighbors they meet that day help to build stronger neighborhoods throughout the year. The relationships enable them to stay connected to one another, and help to encourage dialogue between each other so if they see or hear activities, they inform each other.  
Some groups are utilizing the Nextdoor app as a new and innovative way to stay informed about things going on in their neighborhoods and as a way to setup their National Night Out activities. The app can be downloaded for free from either the Google or Apple stores, or you can also use the desktop version at  Setting up and using the program are totally free for users.  
Starting at 6:00 PM, residents in neighborhoods throughout Benton are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.  Many neighborhoods throughout Benton will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, and visits from the police department, flashlight walks, and youth activities.
This is a night for citizens to take a stand against crime in their own neighborhoods, which is the primary purpose of NNO, and to commit to being an extra set of eyes to alert us to criminal activity. Officers cannot be everywhere at once therefore through the neighborhood watch program we are able to provide more effective enforcement to our citizens. 
For more information on the neighborhood watch program or National Night Out please contact Ofc. Chris Runnells or Lt. Kevin Russell at 501-776-5948.