In partnership with the National Association of Town Watch, the Keizer Police Department will be co-sponsoring the 27th Annual National Night Out event citywide on Tuesday, August 3 from 6 – 10 p.m. More than 34 million people in more than 15,000 communities throughout the country will join forces to promote police-community partnerships, crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood unity.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime awareness; generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations; and  send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Residents in neighborhoods in Keizer and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.  Many neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, potlucks, dessert socials and youth activities. Last year, 19 officer teams from the Keizer Police Department visited 50 block parties.

Neighborhood Watch block captains are encouraged to organize an event as an opportunity to contact their participants, meet new neighbors and update their rosters.  All other neighborhoods are also encouraged to participate.

Between now and National Night Out, participants are asked to designate a particular problem area in their neighborhood. Called “Project 365,” it could be anything from a problem park, a suspected drug house or car break-ins. The goal will be to work towards correcting the problem in 365 days, or by National Night Out 2011. Participants can discuss their project with neighbors and visiting police officers to solicit their help and input.  They may also announce their plans and success with the National Association of Town Watch. For more information, please visit www.nno.org.

“One of the most effective means of reducing crime in neighborhoods is an organization of neighbors helping each other,” said Sgt. Lance Inman of the police department’s Community Services Unit. “Putting into practice the time-honored good neighbor policy is still the single most important factor in solving problems – including crime.”

For more information, contact Sgt. Lance Inman at 503-856-3475 or email inmanl@keizer.org.