Communities across Nebraska are holding events this evening as part of the National Night Out Against Crime initiative. Some larger cities are holding more than a dozen events themselves.
Mark Andries, a Night Out coordinator, says some neighbors will gather at swimming pools, while others will host root beer float parties.
“We’ve got people having barbeques, ice cream socials, a dessert night,” Andries says, “nothing overly fancy, just a lot of reasons to get together.”
Organizers say the National Night Out has several goals. It’s designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation for local anti-crime programs, strengthen community spirit and police neighborhood cooperation, and to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are fighting back against crime.
“Basically, it’s just to get the neighbors out to visit a little bit, to get to know your neighbor and talk about what’s going on in your neighborhood,” Andries says. “Then, the police will get there and interact a little bit, put some names with some faces and to encourage people that if they see something, to take note and give us a call so we can come find out what’s going on.”
Some of the Nebraska cities and counties hosting events include: Aurora, Bellevue, Elkhorn, Grand Island, Hastings, Keith County, Lincoln, Madison, Norfolk, North Platte, Omaha, Papillion, Phelps County, Phillips, Pierce, Red Cloud and Waterloo.