August 5th – 25th Anniversary of National Night Out
(Bel Air, MD – July 31, 2008) — The Harford County Sheriff's Office and local Neighborhood Watch Groups in the community are participating in the 25th Anniversary of National Night Out. A unique/crime and drug prevention activity sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and Target Stores is scheduled to occur in Harford County and across the country on Tuesday, August 5, 2008. The program was designed to heighten crime and drug awareness prevention; generate support for and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. "I remember Harford County's first National Night Out, many years," reminisced Sheriff L. Jesse Bane. "I was a young deputy working with our local Neighborhood Watch Communities to fight crime. The program has grown considerably since then, which is a testament to its success. By working together, communities and law enforcement can make a difference and National Night Out proves just that. Wouldn't it be great if every community in Harford County participated in National Night Out?"
While the traditional "light on" and front porch vigils remain an important part of the National Night Out, activities have expanded considerably to include block parties, cookouts, neighborhood walks and community meetings. In Harford County this year, the Edgewood Boys and Girls Club will sponsor an event at their facility, designed to bring neighbors together. Activities will include a Wii competition, NetSmartz and computer games, Jeopardy and Self-Esteem Bingo, face painting, Ripken Quickball, food and much more.
In addition to attending the event scheduled for the Edgewood Boys and Girls Club, the Harford County Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit will be conducting saturation patrols in the local communities that participate in Neighborhood Watch. Harford County Sheriff's Office works with over 55 Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the county all year long. Neighborhood Watch is a program designed to reduce criminal opportunity and prevent crime through awareness, education, and cooperation between the community and the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Neighborhood Watch's objective is to increase awareness and cooperation. It does not require nor are community members expected to apprehend or confront suspects. If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch or joining an existing Watch group in your community, contact the Harford County Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.