Joining together to prevent crime

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

2012 marks the 29th Annual National Night Out, which is “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” and this year’s event is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 7.

According to the event organizers, National Night Out is the nation’s largest, annual crime prevention/safety event in the country. It involves more than 37 million people in 15,000 different communities from all fifty states.

Introduced in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch (a nonprofit, crime prevention organization that works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country), National Night Out is an event designed to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts.

This is a great chance for neighbors, communities, law enforcement agencies and local organizations to join forces and help prevent crime. In fact, any municipality, law enforcement agency, crime prevention organization, community group or neighborhood interested in participating can register for free.

Whether or not you register, you can take part by turning on your porch light or other outside lights or participate in a front porch vigil. Many cities and towns across the country celebrate National Night Out with a variety of special citywide and neighborhood events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, festivals, visits from local officials and law enforcement, safety fairs, and youth events. Any of these would be a great way to join the movement to help prevent crime.

The best way to help prevent crime is to know your neighbors and invest in your community. That’s exactly what an event like National Night Out promotes. I hope you decide to take part on Aug. 7.

For more information on the National Night Out or free registration material, please visit: www.nationalnightout.org or call1-800-NITE OUT.

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Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.