Terrebonne Parish residents and law enforcement officers participated in the Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday.

The event, which Lafourche agencies have long celebrated in August, is a good one no matter when it’s held.

It encourages neighbors to spend time getting to know the professionals who keep them safe and, as importantly, each other.

The key to having safe communities is communication. Anyone who lives in a neighborhood that has a strong fabric of communication already knows this.

When neighbors talk to one another and know one another, they help keep each other safe from crime and other bad things that can happen to us.

When we look out for one another, we are all so much better off.

That seems like common sense, but in too many communities, communication is a precious commodity. Many of us might not even know the names of those who live around us, much less communicate with them regularly.

As a result, it is much more difficult for us to know if anything is amiss. Has the neighbor across the street been taking out her garbage? Have there been strange cars coming and going from the people’s house on the corner? If we don’t know those people, we probably never ask those questions.

So the National Night Out Against Crime helps to instill a real sense of community, one that challenges us to meet and know our neighbors.

It also gives everyone a chance to spend time with our law enforcement officers. Those relationships are also valuable tools when we take full advantage of them.

When we interact with officers at times that aren’t stressful of full of conflict, we can get to know them at a personal level – something that can stimulate communication. And that is good for everyone.

The police can respond when there is an emergency. But it is more difficult for them to know the warning signs before something potentially dangerous or deadly happens. We ourselves, along with our neighbors, can be important parts of the effort. Keep an eye out on the people going up and down your street. And if you see something suspicious, don’t feel anxious about reporting it. Doing so can help the police tremendously in averting crimes before they happen.

The Night Out Against Crime has always been a great event, and this year was no different.

Thank you to all who took part, hosting block parties or just showing up to encourage the effort, enjoy a bite of food and take in some new faces.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.