National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 3, an evening when households gather with their neighbors to meet and greet. Keizer residents will join with over 38 million other Americans that night.

The annual event is designed to heighten crime awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime effort, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

The best way to build safer communities is to know our neighbors. The past 15 months of isolation due to COVID has left many feeling disconnected from their neighbors and their neighborhoods. With relaxed pandemic protocols in Oregon we hope Keizerites in every part of town will either organize or attend a National Night Out party.

Over the years Keizer has seen dozens of block parties on National Night Out—some small, others were big affairs with amenities such as bounce houses for the kids. Regardless of the size of the gatherings, the results were as intended: people reconnecting, new neighbors greeted and informed about the community.

The Keizer Fire District has been known to make appearances at gatherings and show off their rigs and delight kids with demonstrations of fire hoses. Members of the the city council, including the mayor, make stops at many of the parties, as do members of the Keizer Police Department.

After months we have lived through with COVID, National Night Out is needed more than ever. The city encourages neighborhoods to register their parties—it improves chances of visits from city leaders (this is the perfect time to get some one on one time with the mayor and councilors).

Deadline to register a party for National Night Out with the Keizer Police Department is Wednesday, July 28. Log onto keizer.org/national-night-out-2021, then get out and meet your neighobors, new and old.        —LAZ