Residents Preventing Crime

People from dozens of neighborhoods around town spent a national night out getting to know each other, for a good cause.

For one Naperville crowd, a party in the street doubles as a way to campaign against crime.

Dozens gathered at Community United Methodist Church to enjoy a live band and fun for all ages during one local celebration of the 29th annual National Night Out.

“National Night Out is a night for people to realize the broader community and safety issues that go along with being part of the community,” said resident Craig Kiefer.

Melissa Hood, Executive Pastor of Community United Methodist, said “People are encouraged on this night all over the nation to turn on the porch light and get to know each other.”

In 1984, the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) created the campaign as a way to help build the relationship between city officials and their residents.

“We don’t have enough officers and we never will. As neighbors you kind of help each other out,” said David White, an officer from the Naperville Police Department.

Last year, nearly 15,000 groups participated around the US and in Naperville it’s tradition for safety officers to join the fun.

Mayor Pradel came along on one of their stops to ride with kids on a bike parade through the high meadows subdivision. Afterwards residents young and old got a chance to get up close and personal with police officers, firefighters, and their vehicles.

“We saw fire trucks [and] we saw the mayor,” said Kennedy Carlson. “We had so much fun.”

“Their dad’s a fireman and grandpa a policeman so it’s really important to them,” said Jackie Geiser.

Nearly all of the thirty-five registered neighborhoods got a visit from policemen, firemen, or other city officials. By next year’s night out, a project called “365” will be in full swing, targeting ways to make ‘Problem Areas’ in registered neighborhoods a safer place to be.

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