Cleveland joins more than 11,000 U.S. and Canadian cities at the 24th-annual National Night Out program to help wipe out violent crime. Organizer Matt Peskin says its all about looking out for your neighbors. You dont have to love them, he says. But if you know who they are, you can keep an eye on them, and that keeps criminals out of neighborhoods.
@cal body 1:Peskin, founder of the National Association of Town Watch, says that residents used to watch out for suspicious folks all the time back in the day. Criminals didnt have a chance, because somebody would call the police, he says. Tonights crime-prevention fair looks a lot like a block party, with citizens mingling with police over barbecue and ice cream. This years agenda focuses on teen gangs. Kids get guns, and boom -- they shoot, says Peskin. Youre not going to stop it until you get the guns out of their hands.
Police departments throughout the nation claim that the number of 911 calls they receive spikes after each years fests -- mostly because residents feel more comfortable reporting crimes to cops theyve met, says Peskin. Its OK to be neighborly, he says. If you see somebody strange in the driveway, youre far more likely to call the police after National Night Out than you were beforehand.
Tue., Aug. 7, 6-9 p.m.
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