New Yorkers Come Out For National Night Out Against Crime

New York City is the best place in the world to call home -- and thanks to the brave men and women of the NYPD, it is also one of the safest. At National Night Out Against Crime, New Yorkers have an opportunity to celebrate the crucial partnership we have with our police officers and reinforce our commitment as a city to combat crime together -- because public safety is, first and foremost, a public responsibility.

Building working relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve is not just a policing strategy -- it is the most effective tool at our disposal. It means getting to know a neighborhood and what makes it unique. It means talking to and collaborating with community leaders, clergy, and residents. It means forging trust with the police, auxiliary, and transit officers in your neighborhood so that if you see something, you can say something. It means reminding immigrant New Yorkers that under Executive Order 41, they can contact the police about crimes they have witnessed or been victims of without entangling with immigration authorities. The New York City Council successfully advocated for the addition of close to 1,300 new officers to the force in the coming year, and as we welcome these officers onto our streets to help keep us safe, it is more important than ever that communities get to know the men and women in blue.

With National Night Out, New York City has made great strides toward that goal. On the first Tuesday of August every year, residents and law enforcement, district attorneys and local businesses, community organizations and neighborhood elected officials come together in support of each other and in recognition of the role we all play to keep New York City safe. National Night Out is also a chance to innovate, and to acknowledge that while we have come very far, there is still much more work to be done. Our crime-fighting strategies are constantly evolving - and resident New Yorkers are an integral part of that innovation.

That is why programs such as the New York City Council Anti-Gun Violence Initiative, citywide gun buy-back events, gun violence management system, and youth intervention programs are so effective - they bring everyone to the table. These initiatives work with communities to identify root causes of violence and proactively address them, with comprehensive mental health treatment, job-readiness training, youth programs, conflict mediation strategies, and more. By focusing on crime prevention and neighborhood development, New York City empowers communities to break systemic cycles of violence and combat socioeconomic injustices that are so often gateways to crime. National Night Out brings information about these vital initiatives to one place, where communities can learn about and take advantage of all the services available.

This National Night Out, we remember all of the brave officers who we have lost in the line of duty. In the past year alone, Detective Rafael Ramos, Detective Wenjian Liu, and First Detective Brian Moore gave their lives in service to our city. The New York City Council was proud to honor their legacies this year, when we voted to rename three New York City streets in memory of these incredible men. While New York City shows its appreciation for the NYPD every day, whether it's through funding for new state-of-the-art bulletproof vests or adding more officers to the force, National Night Out is an opportunity for each of us to show our appreciation with a simple "thank you" or a smile.

I encourage all New Yorkers to stop by their local National Night Out event and learn about how they can play a role in their community's public safety, and meet the law enforcement that we trust to keep us safe.