We urge everyone who can make it to take part. While the event is taking place, residents are being asked to participate by locking their doors, turning on outside lights, and spending the night out with neighbors, police and community organizers. Even if you can't get out tonight, you can still send a message by turning on your porch light.
Organizers say the event will help make neighborhoods safer by fostering closer relationships between patrol officers and local citizens, and will heighten crime prevention and drug awareness.
Annually, the night involves more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases around the world. In total, more than 37 million are expected to participate in National Night Out.
The goals of the program are admirable. The intent is to heighten awareness of crime prevention, generate support for local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit, and promote cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
It's an opportunity for residents to meet their local officers on an informal basis rather than as a victim of a crime or during an emergency. It promotes neighborhood spirit and police and community partnerships. The initiative is to get the community more involved with the police department and be the eyes and ears of their neighborhoods.
Compared to larger metropolitan areas, Amsterdam and the rest of the Mohawk Valley are not terribly unsafe places to live. Granted, there are problems -- as there are everywhere. Some of the illegal activity, such as vandalism, could be reduced by folks simply looking out for each other and reporting anything out of the ordinary. That's what tonight's program hopes to point out. And by taking part, you can help send a message to criminals.