"We are trying to pull the community together to make a statement about how we are fighting together to deter crime," Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison recently told The Brazil Times. "A lot of local crimes have been solved because of citizen involvement. We want to strengthen that base during this event so that we can create a safer community for everyone."
Originated in 1984, the non-profit crime prevention organization National Association of Town Watch (NATW) sponsors the program in conjunction with law enforcement agencies to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts. The NATW has grown to include more than 6,500 crime, drug and violence prevention organizations, with more than 12,000 communities expected to participate this year.
"This is a night for communities across the nation to celebrate safety and crime prevention," Harrison said of the event, which takes place on the first Tuesday of each August. "This is our first time being a part of this and we've had a lot of local interest in the event."
Although preparations are still in the works, Harrison said local business owners, community members and local law enforcement agencies are excited.
A complete schedule has yet to be completed, but Harrison said a local band is scheduled to provide musical entertainment, while some of the informational booths and demonstrations at the event include:
* Demonstrations by the BCPD and the Clay County Sheriff's Department K-9 Units,
* AirEvac tours,
* Brazil National Guard unit display,
* Clay County Prosecutor's Office, and
* Several local organizations and businesses will be on hand with safety information and are providing door prizes and goodies for people attending the event.
"We've had a great response from everyone we've contacted," Harrison said about letters sent out requesting support and involvement. "If there is anyone out there who wants to get involved, and they haven't been contacted yet, they can call me here at the department to find out how to."
Although a lot of the informational aspects of the event are targeting adults, Harrison said the fun activities and demonstrations would be a great way for children of all ages to "meet and greet police officers."
"We want them to see that we are human, not scary," Harrison said. "We want children and our local residents to know we are here to help them."
For more information about National Night Out, log onto www.nationaltownwatch.org.
For more information about how to get involved at the local level, contact Harrison at 446-2211.
Night Out details
National Night Out is designed to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, while heightening crime and drug prevention awareness.
"This is a way to let criminals know that neighborhoods are fed up and are ready to fight back," Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison said. "We hope that families will come out and enjoy an evening of fun activities and information."
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 7-10 p.m.
WHERE: Brazil YMCA