Riverside County law enforcement personnel will take a break from busting bad guys next week to get to know the people they serve, giving residents a personalized feel for policing, during a series of National Night Out events.

Mixers replete with free food, public safety displays and information about improving neighborhood security are planned in multiple county venues on Tuesday as part of the annual nationwide “Night Out” campaign.

The Corona Police Department is inviting residents to take part in its annual get-together outside City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave. Events are planned between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and include exhibitions by the forensics unit, the K9 team and the mounted unit.

Kids’ activities are scheduled and visitors will receive information concerning anti-crime resources, organizers said.

In Hemet, police officers will be showcasing their gear and interacting with residents beginning about 5 p.m., outside the United Methodist Church, 530 S. Buena Vista St.

“There will be ice cream vendors and … an opportunity to meet some local first responders, including members of the police department, fire department and American Medical Response,” according to Hemet police Lt. Eric Dickson.

The city of Murrieta has scheduled a big Night Out celebration at Town Square Park, Kalmia Street and Jefferson Avenue, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Officials said attendees this year can look forward to a K9 demo, SWAT unit displays, tours of a mobile command post and kids’ activities.

The city of Riverside has a major event planned between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Orange Terrace Community Center, 20010 Orange Terrace Parkway, where public safety personnel will share insights on law enforcement and fire operations, while participants enjoy a range of snacks and the opportunity to win over 100 items during prize giveaways. Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, is slated to stop by.

Most desert police agencies postpone Night Out events until the fall, when the weather is cooler, but the Indio Police Department will go ahead with its get-together between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday on Towne Street, between Bliss and Miles avenues. According to organizers, there will be public safety resources to check out, with food and soft drink vendors on hand.

Riverside County sheriff’s personnel will be showcasing equipment and offering information about crime prevention in neighborhoods throughout Perris, while in Menifee, a Night Out celebration is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Audie Murphy Sports Park, 30376 Lone Pine Drive.

Various other events are planned to mark the anniversary of “America’s National Night Out Against Crime,” spearheaded by the nonprofit National Association of Town Watch, which organized the first outing in 1984.

Night Out events began with simple gestures, such as residents keeping their porch lights on from dusk to dawn in a demonstration of neighborhood unity and crime-fighting spirit.

Since that time, the National Night Out concept has expanded to include the implementation of voluntary watch programs and face-to-face meetings to improve relations and communication between law enforcement and community members.

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