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Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Justice Officials Participate in 2023 National Night Out

Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta joined police departments and local communities across the country for the 40th annual National Night Out.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. It began in 1984, when the Justice Department awarded a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant to establish National Night Out with the goal of helping foster relationships between communities and law enforcement. Over the past 40 years, National Night Out has partnered with over 17,000 communities and has positively impacted the lives of over 38 million Americans. Most neighborhoods participate in the annual celebration on the first Tuesday of August.

“Everyone in our country deserves to be safe in their communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “National Night Out is an important opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the close partnership between law enforcement and the communities we serve.”

Attorney General Garland participated in National Night Out events in the Philadelphia area – a current BJA Public Safety Partnership (PSP) site. Since its selection in 2021, Philadelphia has worked with local law enforcement agencies, including the Philadelphia Police Department, to reduce violent crime around the city. The Attorney General attended National Night Out events hosted by the Philadelphia Police Department’s 22nd District and Bensalem Township, where he spoke with community residents and law enforcement officials about the importance of community partnership and celebrated the city’s crime reduction efforts. Attorney General Garland was also joined by U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and visited the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco was in Nashville to highlight how the Justice Department is combatting violent crime through strong partnerships with both law enforcement and community leaders. She attended National Night Out events with U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Chief John Drake in the Edgehill and East Park neighborhoods. While in Nashville, the Deputy AG attended roll-call at the MNPD precinct that responded to the March 2023 shooting at the Covenant School, to thank the officers for their commitment to public safety. The Deputy AG also visited the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, where she met with state, local and federal law enforcement leaders and thanked the men and women of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their hard work.

Associate Attorney General Gupta was joined by Director Hugh T. Clements of the Department’s Office for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves for the District of Columbia at Washington, D.C.’s National Night Out kickoff event at the Rosedale Recreation Center in Northeast D.C. Alongside Pamela A. Smith, the newly appointed Acting Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Police Department, and other local leaders, Associate Attorney General Gupta delivered opening remarks and met with local law enforcement and community members. Washington, D.C. is a current PSP member and has partnered with the Metropolitan Police Department to reduce crime through interagency coordination and community policing techniques.

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach attended National Night Out events in Pleasanton, California, during his visit to the ATF San Francisco Field Division. He joined Pleasanton Police Department Chief David Swing in celebrating the events. 

Many U.S. Attorneys’ Offices also participated in National Night Out festivities around the country to celebrate crime reduction efforts and partnership between local law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Attorney General Garland at National Night Out in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and U.S. Attorney Graves in Washington, D.C.

ATF Director Dettelbach at National Night Out in Pleasanton, California.


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