Iowans Party in the Name of Fighting Crime
WATERLOO, Iowa - Cities across the country are preparing for the 29th annual National Night Out.
The event brings together neighbors and promotes crime prevention and drug awareness.
Block parties and organized city events will break out across Eastern Iowa for National Night Out. Coralville, Iowa City, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo are all holding events.
Kids and families gather together and get to know who is living in their neighborhood. According to police, it's one of the best ways to fight crime because people will know if a vehicle or person is out of the ordinary or shouldn't be there.
"Of all of our burglaries we apprehend the burglars, it's neighbors, it's the Mrs. Kravitz that lives next door, the nosey neighbor that really helps solve crimes. It's just being an observant neighbor,” Cedar Rapids Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said .
Authorities said it was a good time to hold these events, especially after the attempted child abduction in Cedar Rapids and the abduction case with the two missing girls in Evansdale.
"It's always good to know the neighbors and the neighborhood kids, if you've got little ones that run around the neighborhood, they need to know where there's a safe place to go,” Sgt. Hamblin said.
"It definitely helps give (the kids) a broader environment to seek assistance if they need it or feel comfortable running up into somebody's yard,” Coralville Community Relations Officer Hanna Dvorak said.
The Church Row Historic Neighborhood Association of Waterloo has had a National Night Out event for more than ten years. It's making a point to share one easy step to prevent crime during the event.
“We ask them to turn on their porch lights because we feel that’s a deterrent to crime,” said Church Row’s Mary Potter.
The Waterloo neighborhood association expects hundreds of people to turn out, just as they have in past years.
“We make them aware of what’s happening with the neighborhood,” Potter said.
Most of the neighborhood parties and events kick off at around dinner time, featuring food and games.
Police often spend time visiting the parties in most cities. It creates a relationship between neighbors and allows people to feel more comfortable reporting crimes.
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