Night Out Against Crime takes a stand


Deborah Byrd, Freret street neighborhood resident and volunteer, dance at the 2015 Night Out Against Crime event in front of Samuel Green Charter School on Valence Street on Tuesday, October 13. The event, which is held annually, takes place in neighborhoods across the New Orleans metro area. Photo credit: Taylor Galmiche

Andrew Callaghan

Parishes across New Orleans will be honoring the Night Out Against Crime by gathering as a community to take a stand against crime.

Oct. 13 will mark the 32nd annual National Night Out Against Crime. It is a community event to raise crime prevention awareness, reduce crime, and increase support for local and federal law enforcement.

While there will be community events around the city, the closest event to Loyola will take place at 2300 block of Valence Street at 5 to 8 p.m.

Ronal W. Serpas, retired New Orleans Police Department superintendent and Loyola professor, said he has been a strong supporter of the Night Out Against Crime since he was Chief of Police in New Orleans and Nashville in the 1990s.

“Every time I attended National Night Out events, I was impressed by how strongly people feel about their community and their relationship with their police officers. During the years I was chief here, and in Nashville, we believed that we would rebuild the public’s confidence in our service one officer and one citizen at a time. National Night Out activities were visible signs of that success,” Serpas said.

Stanford Norwood, president of Freret-Milan Neighbors United, said the Night Out Against Crime is a great opportunity to bring people from the community and introduce each other.

“In any community, neighbors can be way more effective than police in preventing crime sometimes. Once you meet people within your community, you develop a sense of family and you start looking out for those in your family,” Norwood said.

This event was founded by now-retired NOPD officer Kelly Marrione, who turned a local legacy into a natural calling.

“Kelly was an exceptional police officer in every way. When he was assigned to the NOPD Crime Prevention Unit, and NNO was just taking off around the country, he took it on as a personal calling to advance NNO in our city and he did,” Serpas said.