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July 31, 2007 > National Night Out - A summer tradition

National Night Out - A summer tradition

National Night Out (NNO), "America's Night Out Against Crime" will again light up local neighborhoods on the evening of Tuesday, August 7. This event began in 1984 as a community initiative by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit crime prevention organization. Its initial purpose was to involve entire communities in crime prevention and education efforts. Traditionally citizens turn on outdoor lights and hold events and activities to welcome everybody into the spirit of NNO. Activities include block parties, cookouts, parades, exhibits, flashlight walks, contests, safety fairs and youth programs; NNO generally runs from 7 to 10 p.m.

Presently, National Night Out involves millions of people in thousands of communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. In some cities, officials and city employees including police and fire personnel, travel to registered block parties to share the celebration and encourage city participation in local government affairs. NNO is also an opportunity for residents to take charge of their neighborhoods, strengthening them at the block level, actively preventing crime and preparing for disasters. As more neighborhoods started coming together and neighbors bonded with each other, the National Night Out block parties have increased in numbers.

It is possible that the number of registered parties does not correlate with the number of residents or blocks getting together. There may be many informal, therefore unregistered parties and in some cases, neighborhood networks, business associations and even commercial concerns have combined with residents from several blocks to host a single party. For example, the Centerville Business and Community Association hosts an annual pre-party (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) in a shopping complex at Thornton Avenue and Cabrillo Drive in Fremont offering food, entertainment and family activities.

This year National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 7. Activities vary in different communities, so it is best to contact city websites or police departments for information about registered NNO activities. The following information was available at press deadline.


In Fremont, over 140 neighborhood block parties with hundreds of participants will celebrate National Night Out. Groups of city of Fremont elected officials, commissioners, and employees, including police and fire department staff, will visit many NNO events to help strengthen the ties between residents and the city. Fremont events are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Community Engagement Specialist Martha Matthiesen at (510) 790-6979, or email her at


Residents in neighborhoods throughout the City of Newark and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and members of the police and fire departments. Many neighborhoods throughout the City of Newark will be hosting events such as block parties, cookouts, dessert socials, pot luck dinners, and youth activities. The Newark Police and Fire departments will make visitations at many participating neighborhood block parties.

All Newark residents are encouraged to take part in the year's National Night Out celebration. For more information, please contact Deborah Cabness, Crime Prevention Specialist at (510) 790-7233.

Union City:

The City of Union City invites its residents to celebrate National Night Out with neighbors on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The police department and city officials will visit each NNO group throughout the evening. For questions or additional information, please contact:Officer Mike Yaeger (510) 675-5284, Sgt Mark Quindoy (510) 675-5226, Officer Kirk Wu (510) 675-5282, Officer Czar Valdehueza (510) 675-5399 or Officer Manny Leon (510) 675-5263.


The Milpitas police department invites citizen participation in National Night Out. Citizens have used NNO as a tool to initiate local Neighborhood Watch groups and to get acquainted with neighbors. Officers from the police department visit individual gatherings, meet with citizens, and distribute crime prevention information. Police stickers and police car tours are a favorite for the children attending the events. For more information or a list of event locations, contact Sgt. Max Nobida of the Milpitas Police Department Community Relations Unit at (408) 586-2527.


The City of Hayward is a registered participant for 2007 National Night Out. Residents are urged to participate by turning on existing outdoor lighting and attending neighborhood block parties. Neighborhoods are encouraged to continue this practice every night to provide safe neighborhoods. Members of the police department and city officials will drop into parties throughout the city

For more information, contact crime prevention specialists at the Hayward Police Department: Mary Fabian (510) 293-1043 or Angela Irizarry at (510) 293-7151.

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