Communities across the region will gather this Tuesday for National Night Out, an annual event that seeks to engage neighbors in preventing crime, drug abuse and violence.
In cities and towns, including Raleigh, Creedmoor, Wake Forest and Franklinton, neighbors can enjoy food, games and other activities while meeting local law enforcement officials.
They can learn more about crime prevention partnerships between the public and police, including local neighborhood watch groups.
“It’s a way for people to be in their neighborhoods, with their neighbors, and say with one voice, ‘We don’t want to see crime in our neighborhood,’ ” said Laura Hourigan, a spokeswoman for the Raleigh Police Department.
National Night Out is sponsored by a nonprofit, the National Association of Town Watch. In 2012, National Night Out events drew more than 37 million people in more than 15,000 communities in the United States and Canada, and on military bases worldwide. This year is the program’s 30th anniversary.
Neighborhoods across Raleigh will hold National Night Out events, including outdoor lights and front-porch vigils, block parties, cookouts and flashlight walks.
Larger community gatherings will be held at North Hills, Temple Baptist Church, Tarboro Road Park and Community Center, and Carolina Pines Community Center.
In Franklinton, the police department hopes the event will re-energize its community watch program.
“We’re trying to rekindle that fire,” said Police Chief John Green.
He said that residents are the eyes and ears of their neighborhoods, and the police want their help in keeping track of what’s happening in places they may not visit regularly.
Wake Forest Officer Scott Graham said the events also are a chance to remind people about the little things they can do to discourage crime, such as keeping their outdoor lights on, locking their car doors and trimming their hedges.