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July 22, 2009 > Get set to participate in National Night Out

Get set to participate in National Night Out

By Suzanne Ortt

Celebrated annually since 1984, National Night Out (NNO), promotes community-police partnerships and focuses on anti-crime efforts. Neighborhood Watch groups all over the country aid crime prevention by being aware of community goings-on. The first year, light-on vigils were the norm; NNO has now expanded to block parties, festivals, and other activities. Locally, this year, National Night Out will be held from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4 in Fremont, Union City, Newark, and Hayward, and on Thursday, August 6 in Milpitas.

With the current tight government budgets, people's help is essential. Join your neighbors and friends in learning about Neighborhood Watch activities, meeting safety officials, and having fun. Find a block party nearby; get involved and consider making a difference in your area.

Fremont Police Department invites residents to participate in the 26th annual National Night Out. Among its purposes are to strengthen neighborhood spirit and unity and to promote partnerships between the city and the community, on a street, block and city-wide level. Eighty sponsored parties for Fremont are already registered this year. Call Karen Blount, Community Engagement Specialist, for details at (510) 790-6689 or email her at Registration deadline is 5 p.m., July 24 if you want to be considered for a visit by police and fire departments. Visits are limited due to budgetary issues and will be decided by lottery.

Fremont supporter Elizabeth Reed participates in NNO, as she has for the past ten years. She started simply, hosting a chips and dip party, making connections and talking to her neighbors. Consequently neighbors come to her with problems. Elizabeth currently partners with her church, Journey of Faith Nazarene Church, in giving an expanded, child-friendly event. Fire Department and police officers arrive in shiny trucks, police cars and motorcycles, and participate, especially with the children. Elizabeth says this is a big hit with the kids.

Hayward plans a kickoff caravan set for 6 p.m., July 27. Beginning at Southland Mall, fire trucks, police vehicles and tow trucks will parade throughout the city to publicize the night. The parade ends at Kennedy Park, near A and Hesperian streets. Last year Hayward had 20 block parties, spread through all parts of the city. These varied from ice cream socials, and barbeques, to potlucks and catered affairs. Gale Bleth, Crime Prevention (510) 293-7151 or Mary Fabian (510) 293-1043 for details or to register. Deadline is July 31.

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Please note the different date for Milpitas' Night Out against crime. Milpitas residents interested in hosting night out neighborhood parties should contact Officer Gene Smith at (408) 586-2526 or Officer Buchanok at (408) 586-2400 at the Milpitas Police Department's Community Relations Unit prior to July 24, 2009.

Due to current budget cuts, Newark's Police Department is playing it low key this year. However established Neighborhood Watch groups will participate in NNO. To get more information, call (510) 578-4237

Union City:
The Union City Police Department invites its citizenry to celebrate National Night Out with the community and neighbors. One focus is to strengthen neighborhood spirit; another is to build a firm relationship between the police and the community.

"Send a message to criminals letting them know that your neighborhood is organized against crime and willing to fight back!" To participate, call one of the COPPS officers at the Union City Police Department (510) 471-1365.

Join your neighbors at a nearby block party sponsored by one of the more than 200 Neighborhood Watch groups in our area. As Elizabeth Reed, Fremont community volunteer, says, "National Night Out" is a great way to meet and greet your neighbors and to help keep your neighborhood safe!"

More information about National Night Out and a national registry of events can be found at and

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