Torres, Rutherford Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing National Night Out
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and John Rutherford (FL-04) introduced H.Res. 535, a bipartisan resolution to recognize Tuesday, August 6, 2019 as National Night Out. Every year on the first Tuesday of August, communities across the country join their local law enforcement agencies and come together to promote public safety, neighborhood camaraderie, and community-police partnerships.
“In light of the horrific tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, now more than ever, police and communities must come together in a show of solidarity. As a former Neighborhood Watch Block Captain, I know that’s what makes National Night Out such an important event,” said Torres. “We can’t control when tragedy strikes, but we can encourage cooperation between law enforcement and the communities they serve to develop an escape plan no matter where they’re going—whether it’s a church, concert, theater, or local shopping mall—to keep everyone safe year-round.”
“As a former law enforcement officer and Sheriff, I know firsthand how important it is to develop a sense of trust and respect within the communities you serve. Equally vital in preventing crime, folks must have the tools and knowledge they need to avoid dangerous situations, spot potential warning signs, and contact law enforcement for help,” said Rutherford. “National Night Out helps accomplish these goals, while at the same time promotes the camaraderie necessary to foster a strong relationship between the police and community.”
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.
The resolution is cosponsored by Representatives Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), André Carson (IN-07), Katie Hill (CA-25), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Pete King (NY-02), Tim Ryan (OH-13), and Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02).
In addition to getting to know their local law enforcement officers and taking part in their own neighborhood watch groups, constituents are encouraged to consider the following helpful tips to help prevent crime and promote safer neighborhoods:
- Lighting is one of the most important crime deterrents. Consider installing lights on a timer to give would-be thieves the impression that people are home.
- Follow your instincts. If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store, restaurant, lit house, or more populated area.
- Make sure your family, especially children, know when and how to dial 9-1-1.
- Help your child memorize their own address and phone number.
- Look up your local police and emergency services departments and keep important phone numbers in an easily accessible location.
- Only use 9-1-1 is cases of emergency. Direct non-emergency calls to 3-1-1 or the appropriate non-emergency number in your community to help keep 9-1-1 lines open for true emergencies and life-threatening situations.
Prior to serving in Congress, Torres spent more than 17 years working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher and Rutherford spent 41 years in law enforcement, 12 of which he served as Sheriff of Duval County Florida.