HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Night Out project was ranked tenth in the country by the National Association of Town Watch. The project was ranked fourteenth last year and this is the first time that it has broken into the top ten rankings in the 28 years Hattiesburg has been participating.
The rankings are decided based on how well the event was planned, how many folks showed up and neighborhoods got involved, and how the project contributed to the community overall.
The evening - which was Tuesday, August 2 this year - is meant to create safer communities by working to prevent crime, drugs and violence by encouraging neighbors to get to know one another, as well as get to know their local police officers.
Hattiesburg's Night Out is part of a national Night Out program and Hattiesburg was up against quite a bit of competition. This year, 37.1 million people in 15,325 communities from all 50 states participated in the evening.
Planning for the event took three months and Night Out Coordinator Maxine Coleman said that witnessing the community come together for the events and enjoy the evening was what made it a success. "It's the community as a whole, coming to together and being there. And I'm looking around and I see those faces - that's how I measure success. People who make it work," Coleman said.