Oaks National Night Out to promote forming Neighborhood Watch groups

August 13, 2010
Santa Paula News

Those interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch are invited to attend Saturday’s National Night Out Block Party celebration in the Oaks, just one of the unique gatherings being held in Santa Paula.

According to organizer Martha Brown, Saturday’s event is the second annual local celebration of National Night Out, now marking its 27th year.

Brown said Santa Paula Police and Fire personnel would be on hand for the event, which starts at 2 p.m. “Last year we had public safety demonstrations and a lot of fun... personnel from the Santa Paula Police and Fire departments are again going to attend” the events this year, staged at several locations.

Brown said the menu at the Oaks would include hot dogs and potluck side dishes. The noted rock band Cruise Knights will provide musical entertainment for the family friendly event.

Brown said the Oaks National Night Out is being held on a weekend night versus the actual designated weeknight to encourage participation. More than 36 million people and over 15,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide participated last year in National Night Out.

The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

“And,” noted Brown, “it’s a great way to encourage neighbors to get to know each other better and encourage them to form Neighborhood Watch groups in their area. But it’s also just to bring neighborhoods together,” following the national model of showing that crime and criminals are not welcome additions to the neighborhood that has forged a new, stronger bond.

“National Night Out opens up that network,” said Brown, “and instead of being just a name and a face of someone who lives next door,” the person becomes more familiar. Such familiarity promotes paying closer attention to those surrounding you, especially in times of emergency.

Brown is hoping people who are interested in starting Neighborhood Watch programs will attend: “Our Oaks group is very strong, very active,” and she encourages others to form a chapter which encourages awareness and reporting of potential criminal activity. Neighborhood Watch groups receive initial training from Santa Paula Police.

For more information on the Oaks National Night Out, call Brown at 218-4486.


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