Local police department named tops in U.S. for National Night Out

Miami Twp.’s Police Department in recent years has held a National Night Out event at Austin Landing. STAFF
Miami Twp.’s Police Department in recent years has held a National Night Out event at Austin Landing. STAFF

The Miami Twp. Police Department has won a top honor in the U.S. for its National Night Out program, the only Ohio community to earn the honor this year.

The south suburban Montgomery County township had the best National Night Out presentation in the country this year for a community of its size, according to the National Association of Town Watch.

The township’s program was named the best in the organization’s Category 4, which includes all cities and townships with a population between 15,000 and 50,000, according to the NATW website.

The only other Ohio community listed among the top finishers the NATW’s six population categories was Columbus. It finished sixth in Category 1, which includes areas of at least 300,000 population, according to its website.

“We have very strong and productive partnerships with our businesses. This award is a hallmark of those partnerships,” said Pat McCoy, public information officer for the police department. “Miami Twp. residents are some of the best in the country. The block parties they host are amazing.

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“We’ve reached the summit by attaining this award,” he added. “The hard part now will making next year even better. I believe we are up to that challenge.”

Miami Twp.’s event is organized and directed by Sgt. Jay Phares and Leah O’ Malley, both of whom have been officer of the year in the department.

Miami Twp.’s NNO program in recent years has been named in the top 10 in that category. It has won a national award every year since 2002, but this is the first top honor the department has attained, according to the township.

This year, the other top five programs in Category 4 were Sanford, N.C., New Brighton, Minn., Coppell, Texas and South Elgin, Ill., according to NNO.

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National Night Out is held annually on the first Tuesday in August for most of the country, but in Texas and other select areas it takes place in October, according to the organization.

The events consist of neighborhoods block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.

In recent years, Miami Twp. has had its main event at Austin Landing.

But the award is based on the overall program, according to the township. This year that focused on police and community partnerships, and crime prevention issues, township officials said.

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