By ZEINAB NAJM
Local businesses, police and fire departments gathered Aug 2 to observe National Night Out with residents in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.
The annual celebration aims to promote a positive and united relationship between neighborhoods and police officers on fighting crime.
National Night Out is a national program designed to fight crime and drugs, and raise community awareness the first Tuesday of August, which is Crime Prevention Month.
At both celebrations, activities and information were available to children, teenagers and adults for crime prevention, drug prevention and police programs.
“My family has been coming to this event every year,” Dearborn Heights resident Mike Berry said. “The city does a great job providing residents with the tools they need to support crime prevention.”
The city of Dearborn held its event in the parking lot of the Dearborn Administrative Center and Dearborn Heights held its at Van Houten Park.
Community engagement is a prime focus area for both cities in order to get residents involved in their public safety initiatives.
In Dearborn, police and fire vehicles were available for attendees to learn about, along with a dunk tank, bounce house for children and refreshments.
Take home child identification kits, Neighborhood Watch and NIXLE information were also available at both sites for adults.
Dearborn Heights National Night Out attendees enjoyed the splash pad, food and drinks, trackless train, police and fire equipment, a clown and face painting.
“My children are learning that police officers and firefighters are their friends and help make them safe,” Dearborn Heights resident Kelly Stinger said. “Seeing the community come together against crime prevention is always important.”
Residents were also able to win prizes at the event with stamps they collected by visiting 30 participating businesses that are members of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce.
Both cities also encouraged their residents to Light Up the Night by leaving their porch lights on throughout the night, helping reduce crimes within the neighborhoods.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)