Plans are in the works for 2013 National Night Out activities and events scheduled on Aug. 6 in neighborhoods around Englewood.
This is the 29th year the National Association of Town Watch has sponsored and promoted the event it calls the nation’s night out against crime. The program’s goal is to urge people to come out of their homes, meet their neighbors and strengthen local anti-crime efforts.
Toni Arnoldy, Englewood police community relations specialist, asked all those planning events to register. She had received about 25 registrations by July 29 but expects a number of those planning gatherings will register at the last minute.
“We have registrations from those who have held National Night Out gatherings for several years and we have a couple new addresses joining the program this year,” she said. “We also have a couple of registrations from people who held gatherings for several years, have missed the last year or so but are back on the list this year.”
Events range from a dozen people gathering at a neighbor’s house for an ice cream social to residents of a neighborhood blocking off the street for a block party and holding a potluck dinner. Almost every year, one of the largest events is put on by Englewood Bible Church. Volunteers serve free food, there are activities like a bounce house for children, and the event usually attracts more than 300 people.
Englewood has annually had an active National Night Out program since the early 1990s.
Arnoldy and Neighborhood Watch volunteers work to promote the program and, on National Night Out, police officers, firefighters, city officials and even McGruff the Crime Dog spread out across Englewood, stopping in at as many NNO events as possible.
For information about the event or activities in a neighborhood, call Arnoldy at 303-762-2490 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Cortez said he plans to help put on the National Night Out event in his block.
“My neighbors are the organizers. I just volunteer to help set up tables and things like that,” the Englewood man said. “I moved to Englewood from the Los Angeles area two years ago and I never heard of the National Night Out events till I came here. My neighbors invited me to the NNO party last year and it was great. I met a lot of the neighbors on the block and there was tons of good food. I think it’s a great program and I hope Englewood keeps it alive, well and growing.”
The first National Night Out was introduced in 1984 with the about 400 communities in 23 states participating. Last year, about 37 million people in about 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide took part in National Night Out events.