New York City may be known as “the city that never sleeps,” yet it is full of communities that work together to keep it great. National Night Out, an annual event which started over 30 years ago, takes place this year on Aug. 2 in recognition of this concept. The event, as organized by the National Association Of Town Watches, brings anti-crime rallies all over the United States with the participation of local business and civic organizations.
A new collaboration between two great organizations, the First Precinct Community Council is organizing a National Night Out event at the Seaport District in collaboration with The Howard Hughes Corporation. Beyond being a great cause unto itself, this year’s outing also offers food from Smorgasburg, carnival games and a live DJ. Downtown caught up with Phillip St. Pierre, Senior General Manager of the Seaport District, and Marybeth Carragher, Secretary of the First Precinct Community Council, for some Q&A.
How would you describe National Night Out to someone who’s only heard the name?
Phillip St. Pierre: National Night Out is a nationwide neighborhood event designed to bring police departments together with the communities they serve. On Aug. 2, over 16,000 villages, towns and cities across the country will come together for a night of games, food and fun. This is the first year National Night Out will be held at the Seaport District, and The Howard Hughes Corporation is proud to sponsor this event celebrating the outstanding men and women of the NYPD’s First Precinct.
Marybeth Carragher: National Night Out has been in existence for 30 years. Its intent is to promote communities to work together to fight crime. Each year, NNO occurs throughout the U.S. on the first Tuesday of August.
What’s your favorite part of the event?
PSP: With food from Smorgasburg, carnival games and a live DJ, this year’s National Night Out at the Seaport District will be one to remember. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to meet the police officers who keep our community safe every day.
MC: The event is a wonderful venue for neighbors to meet local law enforcement. Although we live in New York City, the event has a true neighborhood sense to it. This year we will have carnival games and mini-golf, a DJ, and the Master of Ceremonies will be Steve Weatherford, who has played for the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
Is this the first event you’ve worked on with the First Precinct Community Council?
PSP: This is the first year that The Howard Hughes Corporation is sponsoring National Night Out. The First Precinct Community Council does an incredible job of strengthening ties between the NYPD and Lower Manhattan residents, as well as organizing this annual event. We are excited to work with them on this important community initiative.
Marybeth, how did you start working with the Howard Hughes Corporation?
MC: After having the event in Battery Park City for a number of years, we decided to find a new location to be more inclusive of each area within the First Precinct’s boundaries. We approached Howard Hughes because the Seaport is going through such an exciting revitalization. Howard Hughes has been extremely supportive as the hosts and we believe it will be a great event.
For those unable to attend, is there a way to support National Night Out?
MC: By working together as a community, we all can strive to make our neighborhoods safer. That and we invite anyone that is interested in the First Precinct Community Council to attend one of our monthly meetings at the NYPD First Precinct at 16 Ericsson. These meetings occur the last Thursday of each month, with the exception of August.
PSP: The First Precinct Community Council’s meetings are open to all residents, businesses and people interested in community-police relations in Lower Manhattan.
What else is coming up for The Howard Hughes Corporation?
PSP: The Taste Of The Seaport, the area’s beloved annual food festival, will be held on Oct. 15. This event features local Seaport District restaurants and highlights the incredible culinary diversity in our neighborhood. All proceeds from the event support arts and enrichment programs at two of our local elementary schools, P.S. 343 and P.S. 397. We look forward to seeing our Lower Manhattan community there!
And what else is coming up for the First Precinct Community Council?