GLENDALE — Police have launched a website encouraging more residents to participate in National Night Out, saying that helping neighbors to better know one another can be an effective crime-fighting strategy.
With property crimes on the rise amid city budget pressures, police say they are counting on residents to band together to report suspicious activity.
Police officials are hoping this year's National Night Out on Aug. 3 will help spur just that. The event typically centers on a block party atmosphere under the guise of getting communities together to work on fighting crimes and increasing communication.
The event began in 1984, with 400 communities in 23 states. According to the National Night Out website, more than 35.4 million people worldwide participated last August.
"We are trying to get neighbors to meet each other and get to know each other and see what kind of problems they have in common," Glendale Police Sgt. John Gilkerson said.
Glendale police launched its first website — glendalenno.com — for residents to connect with each other and find neighborhood events.
The website allows residents to sign up to host an event, view scheduled gatherings and learn more about National Night Out. All requests go through the Police Department to maintain information privacy, he said.
The National Night Out event was a tradition for Glendale for several years, but police decided to do something a little different in effort last year to get more neighborhood watch groups started, Gilkerson said.
As of Monday, 23 residents had committed to hosting a Night Out event, according to the website.
Organizer Lenore Solis and four others will be hosting one of more than a dozen events that day.
She and other residents have been planning for a large gathering at Pacific Park's Community Center, mailing and posting event fliers throughout south Glendale, she said.
About 400 residents attended the same event last year, Solis said.
"I think it's a really important opportunity for residents to get a chance to meet neighbors and interact with police," she said.