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Contact(s):Scott Carter

Friday, August 1, 2008


Neighbors, LR Officials Step Out Against Crime

(August 1, 2008 -- Little Rock)— On Tuesday, August 5th, 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 “25th 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 fifteen 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 are 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 2009 on Wednesday morning,” Bernard said with a smile.

List of Little Rock National Night Out Sites Follows

Arch Street Alert Center, 2220 Arch St

Baseline Elementary Alert Center, 3623 Baseline Rd

Capitol View-Stifft Station Alert Center – Billy Mitchell’s Boys and Girls Club, 3107 West Capitol Av

East Little Rock Alert Center, 2500 E. 6th St

Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 W 12th St

Mann Road Alert Center, 9209 Mann Rd

Movers and Shakers Crime Watch – Curran Conway Park, 24th and Harrison

Otter Creek, 9923 Grapevine

Park Street & Wright Avenue Alert Centers
• Central High Historic Site, 2120 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive
• Collaboration between the Capital Hill, Central High and WANA Neighborhood Associations

65th Street Alert Center, 5323 W 65th St

21st Street Alert Center, 500 East 21st Street

Tyler Street Alert Center – Oak Forest Community Garden, 2401 South Monroe

Valley Drive Alert Center, 5621 Valley Drive

West Central Alert Center
• John Barrow Neighborhood Association – West Central/Rosedale Sports Complex, 8616 Colonel Glenn Road
• Westwood Neighborhood Association – Western Hills United Methodist Church, 4601 Western Hills

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