National Night Out seeks to combat crime, drugs

The 24th annual National Night Out is coming Tuesday, when neighborhoods all across the country will be giving crime and drugs "a going-away party."

The event " designed to heighten awareness of crime prevention, generate participation in local anticrime programs and strengthen neighborhood and police partnerships " will include 34 million people across 10,000 communities in the United States and Canada. Last year, 76 neighborhoods in Oklahoma City took part.

"It's really just neighborhoods' opportunity to stand up and say, 'We want to live in a crime-free neighborhood and we're working together to make that happen,'" said Ben Davis, programs coordinator for The Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma.

Each neighborhood is asked to hold its own event. Block parties, parades and porch-light vigils will all be in the works during this evening of celebration and unity.

"We believe that to live in a good community, it's a responsibility, not a right," Davis said. "Meaning, if you want to live in a good neighborhood, you need to be active in making your neighborhood a good place to live."

Throughout the year, The Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma helps to set up neighborhood associations, as well as crime patrol training. It also tries to hold a workshop every month on different topics surrounding crime prevention. For more information, call 528-6322 or visit their site. "CJ Macklin

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