Community

National Night Out unites neighbors for sake of safety

Communities celebrate Aug. 5

For folks who are looking to make better friends with their neighbors and reduce crime in their community, Aug. 5 is the night.

The National Night Out, in its 25th year, aims to build relationships among neighbors to combat crime. Organizers also hope the event will strengthen relationships among communities and the police, build support for neighborhood block watch programs and send a message to criminals that crime will not be tolerated.

Federal Way neighborhoods and more than 10,000 communities nationwide celebrate the event with barbecues, potlucks, block parties, ice cream socials and visits from local police departments and government agencies.

Nearly 10 communities have signed up so far to have Federal Way police officers visit their block party on Tuesday, said police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.

“We absolutely support it. We want to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police and community partnerships,” Schrock said.

Schrock said that active neighborhood block watches deter crime.

“They’re more inclined to recognize suspicious behaviors because they’re regularly meeting with their neighbors, so they have a sense of what’s normal and a heightened sense of what’s not normal, and they feel more empowered to take action,” she said.

Federal Way communities can register their block watch parties with the police department through 5 p.m. Monday by calling LaDonna Summers at (253) 835-6720. Registered parties will receive visits between 6 and 9 p.m. from local police officers, firefighters, Department of Corrections representatives and Target employees.

For more information about the National Night Out, visit www.nationaltownwatch.org.

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