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Contact(s):Scott Carter

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT – August 1st; Neighbors, LR Officials Step Out Against Crime

(Little Rock – August 1, 2006) -- On Tuesday, August 1st, citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses and local officials in over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide will join forces to mark the “23rd Annual National Night Out” (NNO). Nationally, over 34 million people are expected to participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’ this year.

In Little Rock, there are at least sixteen sites working with City staff. “Most years there are neighborhoods that plan their own activities without partnering with the City – so we expect that there will be even more sites throughout Little Rock tonight,” said Andre Bernard, Director of Housing and Neighborhood programs for the City of Little Rock.

According to the National Association of Town Watch, which coordinates national efforts, National Night Out is designed to:
? Heighten crime, drug and violence prevention awareness;
? Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
? Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships;
? Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

In Little Rock, these goals will be accomplished in a wide variety of ways. Though food (catfish and hot dogs seem to be the most popular offerings), games (organized sports or carnival-style arcade activities), and information (crime prevention, health screenings, city program offerings) are staples at each site, every location puts its own unique twist on it.

Most sites also have visits from Little Rock Police and Fire personnel. This year, with the assistance of Central Arkansas Water and the Little Rock Fire Department, residents are being offered the chance to “Cool Off at Night Out.” At 23rd & Arch and 33rd & Ringo Streets fire hydrants turned on for kids of all ages to play in the spray of water.

“Traveling around to the various locations throughout the City is a great way to experience the rich diversity that Little Rock has to offer,” says City Manager Bruce Moore. “It is enriching to see people of all ages, races, and professional backgrounds meeting together as neighbors. It is great to see the citizens working with City staff to celebrate neighborhoods and community-building.”

“Many of these sites celebrate National Night Out as a combination of a block party, annual business meeting, and a chance to see people you haven’t seen in a while,” said Bernard. The sense of community celebrated by National Night Out lasts throughout the year. “That is one of the purposes of the effort. Once you’ve met your neighbors and shared a meal and a laugh with them, you are more likely to call on them when you have a need or to offer help to them,” noted Bernard.

There is another way that the feeling continues throughout the year. “Several of them will start planning for 2007 on Wednesday morning,” Bernard said with a smile. 

2006 National Night Out Activities

Arch Street Alert Center
2220 Arch Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Ice Cream, Fire Hydrant Open & Giveaways

Barrow Action Group
Walker & 36th Streets
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Capitol View/Stifft Station Alert Center
2715 West 7th Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Meet Your Neighbor Potluck, Crime Prevention Programs & Visit and Tour the New Alert Center Location

East Little Rock Alert Center
2401 East 6th Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Annual Block Party, Food, Fun & Games

East of Broadway Alert Center
Pettaway Park
507 East 21st Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Guest Speakers, Food, Music & Activities for Children

John Barrow Neighborhood Association
West Central Sports Complex
8616 Colonel Glenn Road
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cookout, Exhibits, Trophy Distribution for Baseball Teams & Mobile Aquarium

Movers and Shakers Crime Watch
Curran Conway Park
Harrison & 22nd Streets
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fish Fry

Oak Forest Alert Center
2106 South Tyler Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fair Park Residents Association
Picnic, Face Painting, Drug Awareness Programs, Door Prizes & Music

South End Alert Center
1100 West 33rd Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Block Party, Games for Children & Guest Speakers

Upper Baseline Alert Center
3623 Baseline Road
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
LRFD & LRPD Crews, Games for Children, Back to School Supplies, Door Prizes & Face Painting

Valley Drive Alert Center/OUR Neighborhood Association
5621 Valley Drive
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Speakers on Crime Issues, Blood Pressure Checks, Food, Fun & Entertainment

Wakefield Alert Center
5323 West 65th Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Block Party, Music, Food Games & Giveaways

West Baseline Alert Center
9209 Mann Road
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Oxford Valley, Legion Hut & West Baseline Neighborhood Associations
Open House, School Supplies, Refreshments & Face Painting

Westwood Neighborhood Association
Western Hills United Methodist Church
4601 Western Hills Avenue
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
LRFD & LRPD Crews, Food, Games for Children & Door Prizes

Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center
3805 West 12th Street
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Guest Speakers, Games, Music, Food & Waterslide

Wright Avenue & Central High Alert Centers
Centennial Park
Battery & 15th Streets
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wright Avenue, Capitol Hill, Central High & Good-Will Neighborhood Associations
Public Safety Officials, Picnic & Giveaways

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