New Brighton receives first place National Night Out Award again

Members of New Brighton’s Public Safety Department and New Brighton City Council members pose with the first place national trophy the city received for National Night Out participation in 2013 at the Jan. 28 city council meeting. From left: Council member Brian Strub, Council member Mary Burg, deputy director of public safety Dan Olson, mayor Dave Jacobsen, Council member Paul Jacobsen, Council member Gina Bauman, crime prevention officer Trevor Hamdorf and director of public safety Bob Jacobson. (submitted photo)

The city of New Brighton has earned the first place national award for its participation in National Night Out (NNO) activities for 2013. Nationally, over 16,000 communities took part in NNO last year on Aug. 6.

Last year marked the third year in the past ten that the city has received the prestigious first place national award from the National Association of Town Watch for cities with populations of 15,000 to 49,000 residents.

NATW introduced the event 30 years ago as a way to engage people in anticrime efforts and to build a stronger sense of community. The crime prevention campaign encourages neighbors to get to know one another and meet members of local police and fire departments, civic groups and leaders. 

Crime prevention officer Trevor Hamdorf and deputy director Dan Olson presented the first place national award plaque to the city council at its Jan. 28 meeting.

“To achieve such an honor there’s always a face behind the scenes and that face is our crime prevention officer, Trevor Hamdorf, who is instrumental in coordinating and managing these efforts,” Olson told council members.

Hamdorf has been coordinating the city’s NNO celebration for the past three years.

“This award really goes out to all of the residents and businesses that participated, and the residents really did an unbelievable job in collecting donations,” Hamdorf said.

Last year’s NNO theme was “Protect Our Future.” To support that theme, event organizers set a citywide goal to ensure that no child in the city goes hungry or does not have the necessary supplies to be successful in school.

Generous residents and businesses in New Brighton rallied in support of this goal at 128 organized block parties, collecting over one ton of school supplies, nearly two tons of food and 196 backpacks, which were collected by the city’s public safety department. Hamdorf said it took six truckloads to deliver the donations to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. 

The city has had top place national finishes in 2005, 2009 and 2013, and has consistently placed in the top tier both locally and nationally for well over a decade.

“We’ve been in the top five in the nation every year for the past 14 years and we have been in second place numerous times during that time and have been first in the state of Minnesota every year for 14 years in our category,” New Brighton Public Safety Director Bob Jacobson noted. “So it’s just an amazing record. No one can touch it.”

This year’s NNO is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 5 in most cities, excluding Texas, which typically holds its event in October.

“Now we just have to figure out what we are going to do for this year’s,” Hamdorf said.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at or 651-748-7824.

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