By ZEINAB NAJM
Residents from Dearborn and Dearborn Heights took the time to celebrate National Night Out on Aug. 4 with activities, crime prevention information, snacks and games for children.
National Night Out is a national program designed to fight crime and drugs, and raise community awareness held the first Tuesday of August, which is National Crime Prevention Month.
The Dearborn event was held outside of the Dearborn Administrative Center and Dearborn Heights held its event at Van Houten Park.
Both events aim to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, Neighborhood Watch, and other anti-crime efforts as well as strengthen community-police partnerships.
Participants at the Dearborn event were able to view a variety of police equipment, enjoy free refreshments and entertainment, see police vehicles and get helpful information.
The Police Department also had crime prevention material, Neighborhood Watch information, take-home child identification kits and NIXLE information available.
“This is a great event to have in the city because it allows the residents to interact with every level of public safety,” Dearborn SWAT Team Officer Nick Zubok said. “It is important to always have the community involved and informed on crime prevention.”
A tour of the public areas of the DAC first floor was available, including the City Council Chambers.
Guests were able to pick up city information, enjoy light refreshments and try out the kiosk at the customer service desk at the Main Entrance.
In Dearborn Heights, more than 100 residents attended the celebration at Van Houten Park.
Attendees were able to enjoy entertainment, eat hot dogs, chips and ice cream, and learn about crime prevention.
Children played with bouncy inflatables and on the splash pad, rode a trackless train and watched magic tricks.
Light Up the Night program representatives were in attendance to offer guests information on fighting crime.
“Events like this are important because we can directly help residents learn about crime prevention,” Dearborn Heights Crime Prevention Officer Cpl. Mark Parrinello said.
Light Up the Night is designed to unite the community in the fight against crime by providing crime prevention information, identity theft prevention.
It also encourages residents to leave porch lights on from dusk to dawn to reduce criminal activity in neighborhoods, similar to the National Night Out message.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)