The Dayton Police Department leads the Neighborhood Tour Caravan each year as part of National Night Out. The caravan is comprised of law enforcement and fire personnel, along with city leaders. FILE

National Night Out group urges cities delay police event due to COVID-19

The organization that promotes National Night Out is urging participating communities to move the date of the annual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Association of Town Watch is “strongly recommending” communities change the date from Aug. 4 to Oct. 6, according to its website.

Butler Twp., Centerville, Dayton, Huber Heights, Kettering, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Moraine, Riverside, Trotwood, Vandalia and West Carrollton have all participated in the event.

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National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie, according to the National Association of Town Watch.

It is “a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances,” the association’s website states.

Miami Twp. has already announced a change to Oct. 6 “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the township.

“Our thought is that there will be a good understanding of the COVID-19 virus, and possibly people will be more comfortable being together in groups,” the township said in announcing the date change.

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The Miami Twp. Police Department last year won a top honor in the U.S. for its NNO program, the only Ohio community to earn the honor in 2019.

The township had the best National Night Out presentation in the country last year for communities with populations between 15,000 and 50,000, according to the National Association of Town Watch.

Miami Twp. has between 12 to 15 block parties annually, some of which have been held each year for more than 20 years, according to the police department.

About 4,000 people are involved each year and the main event in recent years has been held at Austin Landing.

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