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Pandemic or not, the mild weather on Oct. 5 brought an estimated 700 or more
people out to Veterans Park in Orange City for National Night Out. Hundreds more celebrated at Earl Brown Park in DeLand.

The revived event revolving around crime prevention and strengthening the bonds between police and the people they protect took place with an air of normalcy, in spite of the COVID-induced cancellation of similar gatherings in 2020, and in surrounding cities this year.

Promoted by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out began and continued to be observed on the first Tuesday in August.

People were encouraged to turn on outdoor lights and meet their neighbors, often at block parties or similar gatherings, and to form neighborhood watches.

Slogans used for the event included “Give crime and drugs a going-away party.”

In previous years, cities such as DeLand and Deltona scheduled National Night Out events that had grown to include firefighting and emergency-medical personnel, along with law enforcement.

In recent years, cities in Volusia County have moved their National Night Out celebrations to the first Tuesday of October, because Florida’s autumn is more conducive to attracting large numbers to outdoor events. National Night Out has become an a annual tradition in many localities.

“We got a lot of positive comments and feedback from the community, and we’re going to make it bigger and better in 2022,” Orange City Deputy Police Chief Wayne Miller told The Beacon.

– Al Everson

Photos by Marsha McLaughlin and Al Everson

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