National Night Out canceled in Colonial Heights: Similar one planned for fall

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - National Night Out is being booted in Colonial Heights. The city says the move comes at the request of residents.

National Night Out is celebrated across the county on the first Tuesday in August. It's a block party - a time when neighbors and police come together to talk about community problems, and solutions.

"There will be no participation in National Night Out this year," said Colonial Heights Police Department Sgt. Tom Kifer.

Sgt Kifer says starting this year; Colonial Heights will not take part in the annual event. This, after a number of residents complained about the weather being too hot in August for the outdoor gathering.

"We found a lot of our communities - especially our elderly community were not able to participate though they really wanted too," he said.

In response, the city decided to make a change. Colonial Heights is substituting National Night Out with something it calls Celebrate Safe Communities Night. An event that will take place in October - not August.

Police say Celebrate Safe Communities Night will have the same format as National Night Out. But not everyone is happy with the move. Brian Edwards says the city should celebrate National Night Out with the rest of the country.

"I think they should allow it to happen for people who are used to doing it on that certain night and then maybe the other people, the older people who think it's too hot they can do it in October for them," said Edwards.

Despite the change Edwards say he'll participate. Police say its likely surrounding localities will make similar changes in the future.

"There are other agencies we've discussed this with and they too would like to make some break from that particular date," said Kifer.

Celebrate Safe Communities Night will be held the first Tuesday in October in Colonial Heights. For more information call 520-9318.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.