Metro area neighborhoods will observe the 24th Annual National Night Out — a crime and drug prevention and awareness event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a national nonprofit crime prevention organization. The event occurs each year on the second Tuesday in August. Thirty-four million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime” this year. In D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty and Police Chief Cathy Lanier will kick off the event at the Ledroit Park Market in the Northwest. In Montgomery County, community events include parades, free food and other recreation. In Fairfax County, a kick-off event will be held at Camelot Elementary School in Annandale, from 3pm to 5pm, with refreshments and child fingerprinting among other activities. NATW encourages each participating neighborhood to focus on one defined problem area, and to take steps, together with local law enforcement, to make it a safer, more appealing part of the community. They propose the following types of neighborhood problems as potential projects:
- “A park plagued by crime, drug dealers, underage drinking, etc.
- A poorly lit corner where crime and drugs are prevalent.
- Expand the number of Neighborhood Watch groups in your community. Target those neighborhoods that have been traditionally tough to organize.
- Residential burglary. Pick a section of your community that is having a problem. Implement an auto theft protection program. Track the results.
- Robbery. Select a section of stores that have been hit recently. Institute a robbery reduction plan and track the results.
- Clean up a “problem area”. Remove illegal trash piles, broken bottles, graffiti, abandoned cars, trash-filled vacant lots. A year long clean-up campaign can help reduce or eliminate existing problems.”
You can learn more about National Night Out at the following websites:
- Metropolitan Police Department
- Montgomery County Police Department
- Fairfax County Police Department
- Prince George’s County Police Department
Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Dog bite prevention for kids and pet owners
- Tips for securing your home before vacationing
- Components of a D.C. summer crime initiative
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