Dozens of block parties will be held across the Southland Tuesday as hundreds of residents gather with police officers, sheriff’s deputies and elected officials as part of the 32nd annual National Night Out crime-prevention event.
As many as 38 million people across the country are expected to take part in National Night Out activities. The event initially began with a call for people to turn out their porch lights and hold small public gatherings in a take-back-the-streets show of community pride.
Over the years, the event has grown to include block parties, parades, movie screenings and picnics. More than four dozen events are scheduled in the city of Los Angeles alone. Dozens more are scheduled in smaller cities and unincorporated areas across the county.
During the event, residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their front house lights and join with neighbors, law enforcement and Neighborhood Watch leaders at local neighborhood events. Activities vary by event but generally include free food, police and fire displays, live entertainment and a chance to interact with city officials.
“Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear because it fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon,” Duarte Public Safety Director Brian Villalobos said. “It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies and improves relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Among the many Southland communities participating in the event are Commerce, Compton, San Fernando, Signal Hill, Manhattan Beach and Long Beach.
Started in 1984, National Night Out is billed as “America’s night out against crime.” It is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored by local municipalities and law enforcement agencies nationwide.
More information is available at www.nationalnightout.org.
—City News Service