Tonight from 6 pm to 9 pm, Exmore will join neighborhoods across the state and throughout the nation in celebrating National Night Out, a family-friendly event focused on strengthening the bonds between local police teams and the communities they serve. Hosted by Chief Angelo DiMartino and the Exmore Police Department,  Exmore’s National Night Out (NNO) is the only registered NNO on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and is open to everyone in Northampton and Accomack counties. It’s Free. And it’s shaping up to be a fun-filled evening with something of interest for all ages.

Now in its fourth year, Exmore’s NNO, a “Party in the Park,” is full of activities and entertainment for the entire family, with music, food trucks, bounce houses, cornhole competitions and more, including the park’s spacious, lighted playground for the kids  “While the goal is to have a good time, the underlying serious intent of the evening is never lost,” says Chief DiMartino. “Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe. By partnering and working together cooperatively, we can achieve the best results.”

To that end, there are educational exhibits and demonstrations from dozens of community groups and civic organizations who will be on site providing educational information. The Northampton County Sheriff’s Department is returning for the fourth consecutive year to offer free IDENT-A-KID fingerprinting, and the Exmore Police Department will be handing out firearm safety information and gun locks. There will be games, giveaways and other surprises.

National Night Out has been held on the first Tuesday in August, annually since 1984. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States, the event began with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes to demonstrate solidarity against crime. This simple gesture communicated a powerful message to lawbreakers: our police officers are supported by extra eyes and ears on this street. The first year, 2.5 million residents across 400 communities in 23 states participated. Today, 38 million people in 15,000 communities in 50 states, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide are involved.

Last year, Exmore’s National Night Out drew hundreds of people. This year’s attendance is expected to be even higher. “Let’s place lawbreakers on notice that when it comes to fighting crime and protecting our communities, the police and citizens stand united,” said Chief DiMartino. “We encourage everyone to come out, participate and get to know your neighbors and first responders in a casual setting. There’s a party atmosphere, and we want everyone to have a great time.”

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