Downstate Delaware towns fitting in National Nights Out

Georgetown event is a first

By Glenn Rolfe and Craig Anderson
Posted 7/16/21

GEORGETOWN — Feeding off recent success, Georgetown is continuing its community unity campaign as an official 2021 participant in National Night Out.

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Downstate Delaware towns fitting in National Nights Out

Georgetown event is a first


GEORGETOWN — Feeding off recent success, Georgetown is continuing its community unity campaign as an official 2021 participant in National Night Out.

Plans are being finalized through Zoom sessions for the Aug. 3 event, to be staged at the historic Richard Allen School property on Railroad Avenue.

It is believed be the town’s first official Night Out.

“This is going to be more or less a first,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “Everything is coming together. It looks like it is going to be a great night.”

The genesis of the town’s NNO stemmed from its June 26 communitywide cleanup and celebration. The event, which drew scores of volunteers who teamed to remove approximately 12.9 tons of trash from the area, doubled as town residents’ link to many organizations and agencies that provide various services to the community.

The Night Out idea surfaced right after that cleanup.

“If we hadn’t really built that alliance pretty solid for the cleanup event, it would have been awfully hard to do it this quick,” said Jud Malone, coordinator for the June project. “But everybody was already used to working together. Everybody stepped right up.”
Mayor West agreed.

“That (cleanup event) was very successful … over 100 volunteers. A lot of people took time out of their rainy day to come and support Georgetown,” he said. “This is a bleed off of that, to continue showing people that we care, and we want to make this town an even better place.”

Traditionally observed the first Tuesday in August, National Night Out is structured as an awareness-raising event for community members and police, held throughout the United States and Canada.

National Night Out’s mission is to enhance relationships between residents, neighbors and law enforcement in a positive, constructive setting.

Across Kent County and Sussex counties, some police departments are holding National Nights Out or tying them in with other neighborhood events and activities.

Kent County

  • The Camden Police Department will join forces with Dover PD at Dover High School on Aug. 3.
  • Smyrna’s Night Out date is Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m. downtown.
  • Harrington Police Department’s Night Out is the second Thursday in October, a joint effort with the fire company at the firehouse.
  • Milford does not have an actual NNO but is working with two groups to host two smaller community-related events in August instead.

Sussex County

  • The Dagsboro Business Alliance and Dagsboro Police Department are looking to team up on an Oct. 5 event this year, holding off until cooler weather.
  • While the Ocean View Police Department does not host an actual Night Out, its signature event is “Cops and Goblins,” which will be held Oct. 30, according to Ocean View Chief Ken McLaughlin.
  • It’s a similar situation in Millsboro, which combines what would be its Night Out with the department’s annual Halloween event, Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway said.
  • The Selbyville Police Department is considering a Night Out date that would tie into the Aug. 28 Safe Kids Delaware/Laura Madara Back to School Event, also presented by the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Co.
  • While Rehoboth Beach does not hold an NNO, the police department does participate in surrounding towns’ occasions, providing departmental equipment and its bike unit.
  • Due to pandemic restrictions that impacted planning, the Greenwood Police Department will not hold its indoor Night Out event this year. Barring a COVID-19 reoccurrence, Greenwood will host Night Out in 2022 on its traditional date — the second Tuesday in August.
  • The Seaford, Milton and Lewes police departments have Night Out plans. Details, however, were not immediately available.

Night Out debut in Georgetown

Georgetown’s debut event will run from 5-8 p.m., featuring numerous nonprofit organizations, as well as local, county and state agencies, free food and other attractions.

Participants include the Georgetown Police Department, Delaware Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement, the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Delaware National Guard, the Delaware State Police, the First State Community Action Agency, the Food Bank of Delaware, the Georgetown Fire Co., the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, the Indian River School District, La Esperanza, the Richard Allen Coalition, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center, the town of Georgetown and the YWCA Sexual Assault Response Center.

Mr. Malone acknowledged the efforts of Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes in securing the many agencies that will be in attendance.

Barbecue chicken, hot dogs and drinks, as well as CommUNITY T-shirts, will be doled out to patrons free of charge.

There will be games, activities, prizes and tote bags with school supplies for kids, plus there are plans for a DJ and music.

As an added attraction, a dunking booth will allow visitors to target at least one town official.

While Night Out is set to run until 8, the Richard Allen School will project a movie outdoors following the event.

“Just something for people who are having a great time and want to hang out a little longer,” said Mr. Malone.

The school is located at 316 S. Railroad Ave. For updates on the event, visit here.