SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — National Night Out, an annual event designed to improve relationships between law enforcement, health organizations, nonprofits, and other groups and the communities they serve, is happening across Missouri and the nation tonight.

“It is an occasion to celebrate past successes, discuss current challenges or issues, and re-dedicate collaborative efforts with neighbors, police, businesses and others to improve the quality of life in our city,” wrote Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams in an SPD press release.

National Night Out is usually scheduled for the first Tuesday of every August in Missouri. The event is designed to introduce the community to law enforcement, educate them on safety, improve drug awareness, and help the residents of an area indeed become a community by meeting their neighbors.

The Springfield Police Department is hosting its National Night Out events at Meador Park on 2500 South Fremont Avenue, starting at 5 p.m. The event is free. The event will have free food, music, activities for children, demonstrations, and tours of law enforcement, fire, and emergency vehicles.

A softball game between the Springfield firefighters and police officers will begin at 7 p.m.

Other communities will also be hosting National Night Out events, including:

  • Battlefield: 6-9 p.m. at Cherokee Trail of Tears Park near city hall, 5434 S. Tower Drive
  • Kimberling City: 6-9 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 161 Heaven’s Way
  • Nixa: 6-8 p.m. at Nixa X-Center, 701 N. Taylor Way
  • West Plains: 6-9 p.m. at various block parties

If your city’s National Night Out isn’t listed above, check with your local law enforcement to see if they are hosting an event.