August 13, 1985
By the President of the United States of America
A Nation promising justice for all must ensure that its citizens are free from fear of crime in their homes and on the streets. Yet crime continues to be a substantial problem for American society. Twenty-three million households were touched by crime in 1984 and felt, in varying degrees, the pain, economic loss, sense of violation, and frustration that accompany crime victimization.
Fewer households were victims of crime in 1984 than in any of the previous nine years, due in part to greater public awareness and understanding of crime. This Administration is committed to increasing that awareness and understanding, thereby assisting in our Nation's effort to combat crime.
We recognize the effectiveness and the growth of local crime watch organizations throughout the country and the major role they have played in turning the tide against crime. By working together and in cooperation with their local law enforcement agencies, citizens have always been one of our most effective deterrents against crime. Such citizen action reaffirms those values of community, respect for the law, and individual responsibility that are so much a part of our national heritage.
It is important that all of the citizens of this Nation are aware of the significance of community crime prevention programs and the valuable impact that their participation can have on reducing crime in their neighborhoods. A ``National Night Out'' campaign will be conducted on August 13, 1985 to call attention to the importance of community crime prevention programs. All Americans will be urged to spend the hour between 8 - 9 p.m. on that evening on their lawns, porches, and steps in front of their homes to signify that neighbors looking out for one another is the most effective form of crime prevention.
Participation in this nationwide event also will demonstrate the value and effectiveness of police and community working together in a partnership on crime prevention. It will generate support for, and participation in, local crime watch programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit in the anticrime effort; and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods across America are organized and watching. This is a unique effort to remind the American people of the crucial role they can play in making their streets and neighborhoods safer. Strong, safe communities don't just happen. They are built by people who care and volunteer their time and energy to make the community a good place to live.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 168, has designated August 13, 1985, as ``National Neighborhood Crime Watch Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 13, 1985, as National Neighborhood Crime Watch Day. I call upon the people of the United States to spend the period from 8 to 9 o'clock p.m. that day with their neighbors in front of their homes to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of community participation in crime prevention efforts.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:14 a.m., August 15, 1985]
Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on August 14.