It’s a night for taking back the streets. Springfield joined hundreds of communities around the nation in the National Night Out on Aug. 5. Several neighborhoods in Springfield held block parties, inviting police and fire fighters to meet with families and establish relationships that foster cooperation.  Lydia Templin-Collins of the Hawthorne Place Neighborhood Association says her neighborhood had an abundance of food and kids activities like a bounce house and Jenga tournament, plus a surprise visit from Mayor Mike Houston and Police Chief Kenny Winslow. Templin-Collins says the evening also included residents discussing both their satisfaction with the neighborhood and their concerns. “The emphasis this evening is the importance of good neighbor relationships in encouraging the safety and ‘health’ of neighborhoods like ours,” she said. National Night Out started in August 1984, and the nonprofit National Association of Town Watch, which organizes the Night Out, estimates that more than 37.8 million people in 16,124 communities now celebrate the event. For more information, visit

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