In a time when so many are talking public safety, one of the easiest ways to make our communities safer is simply to get to know our neighbors.
The first Tuesday in August, you can block off your street and have a party to do just that.
Tuesday August 7 will mark the City of Seattle’s 28th Annual “Night Out Against Crime” celebration.
Falling on the first Tuesday of every August, “Night Out Against Crime” is a national event that encourages neighbors to gather and spend time together in an effort to heighten crime prevention/awareness and increase neighborhood safety.
You’re encouraged to turn on your porch lights as a gesture in support of each other and crime prevention.
When you register your event in Seattle, most non-arterial streets can be blocked off (without a fee), so you and your neighbors can take over your street. Bring your barbecues, organize a local scavenger hunt and a few games with lots of winners, and stock up on your favorite local fresh fruit and a frosty beverage or two. What’s not to like?
If your neighborhood has never experienced a Night Out, we encourage you to get involved this year. This year the theme this year is “Together – Safer Neighborhoods”.
The problems of crime and violence in our communities cannot be solved by police alone. Even if we spent millions more to add more police, we, the community, are the first line of defense in preventing crime.
As then-Captain Washburn of the North Precinct confirmed to me, “Nothing has been more effective in reducing crime than having neighbors watch out for each other, walk with each other, and let the bad guys know we’re all paying attention.” He was referring to GAIN, Greenwood and Aurora Interested Neighbors, who organized in 2005 to bring permanent positive changes in their neighborhood. Many–including the police–say it has worked wonders.
This year I hope neighborhoods touched by violence will use Night Out as an opportunity to take a unified stand against violence in their community.
If you don’t already know your neighbors, please be the catalyst to form a Block Watch and organize your neighbors for disaster preparedness through Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare or SNAP. You can be the one.
It is easy to sign your block up:
- Register your neighborhood using the online form.
- Add your event to the public map (optional, you can keep your event private too).
- Invite your neighbors by printing the materials on the Seattle Police Department website.
- And finally, get involved in the conversation about Night Out by “Liking” the SPD Night Out Facebook Page.
If you’ve participated in Night Out in the past, I hope you’ll join the festivities again. You’ll enjoy seeing how much the kids have grown and catching up on what’s going on just around the corner.
If you live in the University District, please stop by to say hello! I’ll be joining Doug Thiel on NE 62nd and Brooklyn. I’ll be there after stopping by my own block watch–even in a downtown building, we have a fabulous vertical community!
When neighborhoods are organized, we have power. Thanks for helping us all feel powerful by building safer neighborhoods and a safer Seattle.