http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/07/24/night-out-to-bring-communitypolice-together


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - July 24, 2009

"Night Out" to bring community/police together

Officers to visit block parties, talk to residents

by Geoff Gillette

As a way of promoting the Police/Community partnership, Danville Police are urging residents to come out and be a part of "National Night Out 2009" set for Tuesday August 4.

Both Danville and San Ramon Police are participating in the national event, which emphasizes residents and police officers working together to prevent crime.

Police Chief Chris Wenzel said events like the night out give people a chance to get to know their police officers. "We don't get to spend as mch time with the public as we'd like to," he said. "Usually, when people meet one of our officers there is a negative connection with it. A citation is issued, a traffic stop or they are reporting a crime. Something negative."

Wenzel said he feels it is important for the community and the police to have opportunities like this because it reinforces the fact that the police are there for the safety of the community.

"The police department should never be looked at as something negative. We enforce the laws because we want to keep people safe," he explained.

During the National Night Out, residents are urged to hold block parties. The idea is that if neighbors get to know each other, it becomes easier to watch out for one another. Events such as this can lead to the formation of neighborhood watch groups, or something as simple as knowing a neighbor well enough to know when they are away and when something untoward is going on.

"Working together can be crime preventive. We just need to be vigilant in our neighborhoods and in our town," Wenzel stated.

Police officers will be stopping by registered block parties and meeting with residents. They'll be answering questions and listening to residentss concerns, as well as talking about drug and crime awareness and prevention.

Wenzel said officers will work with children at the block parties as well on educational things regarding crime prevention.

"It's a great opportunity for us to get out and meet the community and to show that together we can make a difference, which is the purpose of the National Night Out," he stated.

To register neighborhood block parties and have officers stop by contact Danville Police Departments Community Service Officer Shawn Nygard at 925-314-3705 or email her at snygard@ci.danville.ca.us. For more information regarding National Night Out visit www.nationalnightout.org. San Ramon residents can register their block party by contacting Crime Prevention Specialist Darlene Kittredge at 925-973-2796

Residents belonging to (C.E.R.T) Citizens Emergency Response Team who would like to participate in National Night Out can contact Emergency Response Manager Greg Gilbert at 925-314-3368.

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