Our Opinion: Schedule a night out to enhance crime prevention

Treat yourself to a night out on Tuesday.

The invitation doesn’t involve an expensive night on the town; it centers on neighbors gathering to observe National Night Out.

The observance will be from 7-10 p.m. Tuesday when neighbors switch on their outdoor porch lights and gather for neighborhood functions, such as a picnic or ice cream social.

The purpose of National Night Out is twofold — to strengthen neighborhood ties and enhance partnerships between people and police officers.

Neighbors may request a police officer to visit during the observance and discuss the formation or continuation of Neighborhood Watch associations.

Requests may be made to Officer Kevin Kempker, 634-9681, who said the observance “offers a good time for police to visit with neighbors about problems and communicate the continuing need for vigilance.”

Nationwide, an estimated 28 million citizens in 8,000 communities are expected to participate.

In Jefferson City, Kempker characterized requests for officers to attend 17 events as a “great response.”

He said police will continue to respond to requests, and encouraged additional neighborhoods to get involved.

Neighborhood Watch associations are based on the time-honored concept of people helping people.

As residents become more familiar with neighborhood habits, they are more likely to become aware of unusual, or suspicious, activity.

National Night Out provides an opportunity for neighbors and police to enhance relationships, share crime prevention tips, and discuss awareness and reporting.

We encourage neighbors to call each other, then call the police and ask them to respond to unusual activity in their neighborhood on Tuesday evening.

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