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National night goes local

Ryan Carter

Law enforcement officials are encouraging local neighborhoods to

unite against crime.

Burbank police are inviting the community to participate in the


20th Annual National Night Out Against Crime from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 5

in neighborhoods throughout the city. It would mark the first time

the city has participated in the event.

Neighborhoods around the country, including Glendale, participate


in the event, which is staged to promote crime awareness and

prevention, neighborhood safety and to send a message to criminals

that citizens are united against crime, Police Chief Thomas Hoefel

wrote in a letter to local Neighborhood Watch captains.

During the event, law enforcement agencies across the nation ask

neighborhood residents to turn on their outside lights, lock their

doors behind them and come outside to spend a good-natured evening

with neighbors, police officers, firefighters and community leaders.


“It’s a campaign to let criminals know that neighborhoods

organized together are going to take a stand against crime,” said

Community Resource Officer Vee Jones, who is helping coordinate the

event, sponsored by the National Assn. of Town Watch and the Burbank

Police Department. Neighborhood activities include potlucks,

barbecues, youth events, candlelight vigils, cooking and bake-offs.

Sgt. William Berry, the department’s spokesman, said that in an

era when neighborhoods aren’t as close-knit, a little “getting to


know your neighbors” could be the difference in preventing a crime on

each other’s property.

Jones said any block or neighborhood can celebrate the event, but

ideally, a representative from the neighborhood should call her at

the police department to register their activities so police will

know where to visit and say hello.

“This year we wanted to get our foot in the door and let people

know that Burbank is involved,” she said. “And next year, I hope it

will be bigger and better.”