(ORLEANS) - Orleans residents are invited to join forces Tuesday with thousands of communities nationwide for the 30th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event.
National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the Orleans Police Department, will involve more than 15,325 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all, more than 37 million people are expected to participate.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
From 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, residents throughout Orleans and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.
The theme of the observance this year is "Giving Crime and Drugs a Going Away Party."
According to Orleans Police Chief Roy McFarland, the police department will host an open house from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday and invites citizens to stop by and have a soft drink and hot dog while they talk with local officers.
Officers will be photographing and fingerprinting children and will a have a variety of free literature to hand out. Balloons, pencils and pens will be available for everyone.
Free gun locks will be available to help support responsible gun ownership. An Orleans Police Department patrol car will be on display for the children to look at and sit in.
"We are inviting everyone to turn on their porch light and come down to the police department and visit with local officers," McFarland says.
National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said, "This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation."
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