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2010-07-22 / News

National Night Out event next month in Grand Blanc

BY ROBERTO ACOSTA 810-452-2645 • RACOSTA@MIHOMEPAPER.COM

GRAND BLANC — Residents will come out on primary day in the city of Grand Blanc to raise community awareness during an annual crime and drug prevention event.

The “27th Annual National Night Out” event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored by the city of Grand Blanc Police Department, is on Tuesday, Aug. 3, and is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., residents in neighborhoods around Grand Blanc and the nation are being asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Residents can also participate by heading to a local neighborhood picnic at Grand Blanc Outdoors or Perry Place/Grand Bend Apartments.

“This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity,” reads a statement from city of Grand Blanc Police Department on the National Night Out event.

The event’s website, www.nationalnightout.org, states more than 15,000 communities and 36 million residents, law enforcement officials, business owners and local officials in the United States, Canada and military bases participated in 2009.

Matt A. Peskin, executive director for the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit, crime prevention watch organization, came up with the idea nearly 30 years ago. He noted at that time only 5 percent to 7 percent of residents in a “crime watch community” were actively participating in prevention, and Peskin proposed a national program coordinated by local crime prevention agencies and organizations to involve entire communities all at one time.

The first National Night Out took place in 1984, with 2.5 million U.S. residents in 400 communities across 23 states showing their support for the new venture. The event continues a traditional ‘lights on’ and front porch vigils every year, but has expanded over time to include block parties, neighborhood walks, cookouts, festivals and rallies in some neighborhoods.

For more information on the upcoming National Night Out event, visit www.nationalnightout. org or contact the city of Grand Blanc Police Department at 810-694-1111.

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