Costa Mesa, Irvine organize National Night Out events

Costa Mesa and Irvine next week will take part in National Night Out, an event designed to improve community relations between police and residents and inform the public about crime-prevention.

Unlike its neighbors, Newport Beach will not participate in the Aug. 2 nationwide event. Newport hasn't staged National Night Out activities since 2008.

Newport Beach police spokeswoman

Kathy Lowe said the city removed the event from its budget in 2009, but hopes to bring it back in 2012.

Costa Mesa will mark the 2011 National Night Out with everything from block parties to ice cream socials, according to a news release from Police Department.

Participating communities include the 700 block of Shalimar Drive, the 800 block of Center Street, 200 block of Fountain Way East, 800 block of Whittier Avenue and 900 block of West 17th Street. A centralized event will take place at Harbor Trinity Baptist Church at 1230 Baker St.

According to the release, police departments see the annual event as a way to strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and will not tolerate crime.

In Irvine, public safety officers will talk to residents about crime prevention and emergency preparedness, said Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen.

At Brywood Elementary School and Quail Hill Village Center, organizers will recruit residents for Community Emergency Response Team classes and register people for WatchMail, an email emergency alert program. The events will also feature games and prizes for kids and a raffle with gift cards provided by corporate sponsor Target.

"National Night Out provides the perfect opportunity for our police personnel to engage members of the community in our successful partnership," Irvine Police Chief Dave Maggard said in a statement. "These types of partnerships play a key role in our continuing efforts to remain one of America's safest communities."

The events begin at 5:30 p.m.

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