July 30, 2010 > National Night Out - for safe neighborhoods
National Night Out - for safe neighborhoods
By Meenu Gupta
This year 15,000 communities and 36 million people are expected to participate in the 27th annual National Night Out (NNO), a demonstration of citizen support of police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. Most celebrations are held on the first Tuesday of August however some communities including Milpitas elect a different date due to long-standing calendar conflicts; a meeting of the Milpitas City Council is scheduled the evening of Tuesday, August 3.
National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit, crime prevention organization works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. NATW introduced the program in 1984 with a goal to educate citizens and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts. Coordinated by local crime prevention agencies and organizations, thousands of communities now participate.
Traditionally, outdoor and front porch lights remain on during the evening as a vigil while neighborhoods hold block parties, parades, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings. In many communities, local police and fire personnel schedule visits to events. The presence of local law enforcement in the community under the positive circumstances of a NNO allows residents to meet safety officers on a one-to-one basis. Tri-City residents are invited to join the large network of neighborhoods that will be holding evening celebrations on National Night Out.
Residents have hosted over 100 parties in neighborhoods all over Fremont in past years. "Due to budgetary constraints, we will not be able to guarantee a visit to every party as we have in past years," said Martha Matthiesen, Community Engagement Specialist, Fremont PD. "A lottery system will be used to choose the parties that receive a visit," she said. In order to participate in the lottery system, it is essential that you register your party.
Residents can register their event at www.fremontpolice.org or by contacting Karen Blount at (510) 790-6689 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2010 theme for National Night Out will focus on Child Safety. The city-wide celebration will include Neighborhood Crime Watch groups, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members, homeowners associations, and other neighborhood groups interested in celebrating and strengthening their neighborhood connections.
Union City is encouraging participation of neighborhoods and communities to come together and have fun on National Night Out, Tuesday, August 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register please contact the UCPD Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving unit at (510) 471-1365.
Residents may sign up their group for National Night Out in Newark by contacting Tena Oakley at (510) 421-1257 or Wayne Slack at (510) 414-8064. "The block parties traditionally run from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and we make every effort to stop by as many as possible during that timeframe," said Aisha Knowles, Public Information Officer, Alameda County Fire Department.
The City of Hayward Police Department is sending messages to neighborhoods to encourage participation in National Night Out. Hayward Neighborhood Alert Car-A-Van, the kickoff for National Night Out will be sending out NNO invites on Monday July 26. If you would like to organize a Block Party, the deadline to register is Friday, July 30. Hayward residents may also participate in the "Light's On" campaign. Call Crime Prevention Specialist, Mary Fabian for more information at (510) 293-1043.
Over the past ten years, Milpitas residents have used National Night Out as a tool to initiate local Neighborhood Watch groups and get reacquainted with their neighbors. Milpitas Police Department encourages Milpitas residents to host or attend neighborhood parties on Thursday, August 5 to celebrate "America's Night Out Against Crime." Officers from the Milpitas Police Department will visit gatherings, meet with residents, and distribute crime prevention information. Police stickers and police car tours are a favorite for children attending the events. Milpitas residents interested in hosting a National Night Out neighborhood party or to obtain information should contact Officer Gene Smith at (408) 586-2526 or Officer Kevin Jackson at (408) 586-2528 at the Milpitas Police Department's Community Relations Unit.
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 3
Thursday, August 5