The TCU Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department and the Fort Worth Fire Department came together Tuesday evening in the Brown-Lupton University Union for National Night Out (NNO) to promote awareness of crime prevention.
NNO is a national drug and crime prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. The event is designed to increase drug and crime prevention awareness and to improve relationships between police and communities, according to its website.
“We want to help send a message to criminals that we are fighting back against crime,” said Pamela Christian, crime prevention officer for TCU Police.
The night gave students the opportunity to ask questions they might have had regarding personal safety and crime prevention. Various pamphlets and brochures promoting crime awareness were also available to those students who wanted to learn more.
“This is our third event on campus with the National Night Out and what we want to do is have some information on our table not just about one type of crime but a variety of crimes that you may face,” TCU Police Officer George Steen said.
“We are not here to stick a student in jail,” Steen said. “If I can get a student to cooperate and get them back to their resident hall with their resident advisor, I would rather that be the consequence opposed to a student going to jail or getting hurt.”
Matt Peskin, executive director of the National Association of Town Watch, introduced NNO in 1984. As described on the campaign’s website, it is “a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie.”
Steen said the purpose of the event is to get people to come out of their homes and get to know their neighbors. He said he advices people to get more interested in their neighborhoods and quality of life issues.
“It is a very effective tool in making the neighborhood real small,” Steen said. “You may know the neighbor next to you on each side or even across the street, but getting to know the neighbors at the end of the block is why programs like these are important.”
Mathew DeBilio, a sophomore entrepreneurial management major, said events like this help promote the presence of TCU Police on campus.
“It makes me feel a lot safer to see the TCU cop cars drive around and, in a way, these events can have the same effect,” DeBilio said.
“If there is one thing I want students to walk away with from tonight it is awareness,” Steen said. “Awareness in their safety, awareness in their consequences if they drink and drive and be aware of their surroundings, and make some good choices with their personal safety.”