National Night Out is Aug. 5

  • Saturday, August 2, 2014

Neighborhoods everywhere will be celebrating the 31st annual National Night Out on Tuesday.

It’s more than just a parade of police cars or a block party, organizers say. It’s about celebrating partnerships fostered between law enforcement and the community.

In Summerville, as in communities across the country, a number of neighborhoods are hosting celebrations to commemorate the event.

The Lakes of Summerville is hosting its fifth annual neighborhood National Night Out event, according to Maggie Adams, who is a volunteer with the neighborhood Crime Watch committee. The idea is to help bring neighbors together and get them information regarding the program and crime prevention in general, she said.

“This is the fifth year we’ve done this,” Adams said. “I think it has been very successful. I think there’s been a big improvement as far as making people aware and of ultimately making our community safer. In fact, the police have said that this is one of the better, safer communities.”

Ultimately, it’s about getting neighbors educated and involved, she said. To that end, the crime watch committee invites any interested residents to attend its meetings, which are held the first Tuesday night of the month at the Lakes Of Summerville clubhouse, she said.

The National Night Out event at the Lakes of Summerville will include hot dogs and hamburgers and games with prizes for children. People attending are asked to bring a side dish; no alcoholic beverages.

“This event is designed specifically for our neighborhood, but anyone is welcome to attend,” Adams said.

In King’s Grant, neighborhood residents and members of the King’s Grant Pool will be treated to a demonstration from the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office – including members of the K-9 unit – as well as enjoy vendors, kid’s activities, and barbecue from Moose’s Barbecue.

The White Gables neighborhood is also planning a major neighborhood event, according to neighborhood residents.

Area neighborhoods will probably be visited by a number of sheriff’s office vehicles cruising through with lights and sirens on, Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight said.

“We like to show a presence – get out and be seen – and let the communities know we are here,” Knight said. “I think anything we can do like that is helpful for community relations.”

Knight said that DCSO’s Citizens Police Academy and Crime Watch programs are two very effective efforts in the fight against crime, as well as very positive community relations builders.

“In every community we have organized a crime watch, crime has gone down,” Knight said. “I think that’s helped us a great deal.”

According to the National Night Out website, the introduction of National Night Out in 1984 began as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities such as neighborhood watch, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie, as well as send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

The first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states; National Night Out now involves more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide, according to the website.

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