GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — One of the signature events of the year in Gloucester Township has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, police announced Thursday night.
Gloucester Township’s annual National Night Out event will not take place in 2020, according to Gloucester Township police. The event will return in 2021.
“The National Night Out program is a cornerstone of our community relations initiatives, however with the ongoing restrictions, we felt it was in the best interest in the safety of our community to cancel this year’s event,” the police department said in a statement. “It is our intention to come back strong in 2021 and have our best National Night Out yet.”
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National Night Out is an initiative in which people in towns across the country gather at their homes, on their streets and at their local community centers in recognition of their support of the community. Local state and federal officials from 15,728 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide participate in the event.
Gloucester Township ranked seventh nationally for the 2018 event, and it has ranked first in New Jersey every year since 2012. Only the coronavirus could put an end to that streak, with an asterisk.
As of Thursday, there were 861 cases of the coronavirus in Gloucester Township with 54 confirmed deaths. This includes five new cases announced on Thursday:
Two women in their 20s;
A man in his 70s;
A woman in her 40s; and
A man in his 30s.
“The partnerships that we have built to make our community safe will only become stronger because of this adversity,” police said in a statement to the public. “We know that it is because of the partnerships with community members like you that Gloucester Township is such a great place. I want to thank you for your unwavering support of the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department. Please know that we are here for you, and that we look forward to coming back strong for National Night Out in 2021.”
Next year’s event will be scheduled for Aug. 3, police said.
Residents can contact the police department’s Community Relations Bureau anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.