The Hays County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments announced over the weekend the decision to forego hosting any National Night Out block parties this year.
The decision was made due to the current status in Hays County communities regarding COVID-19.
“This decision was not made lightly since this yearly event allows our deputies to meet and greet the neighborhoods that they patrol,” the Hays County Sheriff’s Office said.
National Night Out is an annual event, which takes place on the first Tuesday of October, and aims to enhance the relationship between neighborhoods and law enforcement to establish a sense of community.
According to HCSO, hosting and being part of National Night Out is a big undertaking that takes months of planning; law enforcement relies heavily on local businesses and residents for donations and support for these events.
“Many of our local businesses and residents have been highly affected by the current pandemic of Covid-19 and cannot handle the burden of supporting National Night Out,” HCSO said.
Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said he suggests leaving the porch light on, decorating the yard with signs and ribbons, or holding virtual neighborhood parties to discuss safety and to get to know the neighbors.
The HCSO is discouraging physical block parties at this time but asks residents to follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines and wear masks if they do gather together.
Residents can also connect with Law Enforcement through the new free Hays County Sheriff’s App, which is available in the google play and apple stores.