Community Safety & National Night Out
National Night Out (NNO) is an annual event when people come together to get to know their neighbors and their local public safety officials over food, games, and music. Every year, more than 20,000 people participate in NNO across Portland.
In past years, Civic Life’s Community Safety team worked with community members and city partners to organize NNO events. This year however, the Community Safety team will not be administering NNO. We have made this difficult decision because each NNO event is designed to host hundreds of people in public spaces and these events would be categorized by the CDC as “highest-risk” for spreading the COVID-19 virus.
While we are not participating in NNO this year, we encourage Portlanders to explore community building through smaller-scale events—such as socially distanced block parties. To find out more about hosting an alternative to NNO, please contact Portland Parks and Recreation about holding an event at a local park or Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) about getting a permit to temporarily close your block from car traffic.
Safety & Lived Experiences
When defining safety, we look at “safety” as a verb rather than a noun, because for all of us to feel safe, it requires on-going action, collaboration and working together.
We also acknowledge that each person has their own definition of what it means to feel safe based on individual lived experiences. For example, an elderly person who has Limited English proficiency might have different perspective on what it means to feel safe from that of an able-bodied Black teenager.
Our Community Safety program encourages proactive and constructive conversations around our individual lived experiences while seeking ways to collectively solve problems that impact all Portlanders.
In the visual “Keeping Communities Safe” you will see the many different elements that go into creating safe communities—from stable social and mental health to housing and food security to law enforcement.
Civic Life continues to support communities coming together. New celebration concepts have since emerged, including National Night Out for Safety and Liberation which promotes building communities as well as promoting personal safety, social and mental health.
The Community Safety team continues to hold free training programs like Neighbors Together to bring community together to identify safety issues relevant to their community. Learn more about Neighbors Together program here.