Cabarrus

Neighborhoods celebrate National Night Out

What did you do Tuesday night?

I hope you were able to participate in National Night Out.

Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, it is a nationwide neighborhood crime and drug prevention event.

For the past 27 years, numerous U.S. cities, towns and villages have celebrated National Night Out. During that time, it has grown to 37million people in more than 15,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

The Concord Police Department asked everyone to leave their porch light on from 7 to 10 p.m., even if they didn't participate in a special event.

All around Cabarrus County events took place, from block parties to parades to cookouts.

This year is the ninth year Concord has celebrated National Night Out. It was the first time Moss Creek Village celebrated with a block party .

"The Concord Police Department was here to mingle and meet the residents and also answer any questions about a Neighborhood Watch program many community members would like to see started," said Holly Biddle, Moss Creek Community Association onsite manager of Kuester Management Group.

National Night Out occurs annually on the first Tuesday in August. Its goal is to strengthen neighborhood bonds and create strong community-police partnerships, while sending a message to criminals that residents are taking a stand against crime.

Even though it was Moss Creek's first year, Biddle was able to arrange a wide variety of activities.

"Carolinas Medical Center brought info on the mobile mammogram unit that will be offering exams by the Ruckus House next month," Biddle said. "Ruckus House brought their NASCAR race car and driver, and residents could talk to him and sit in the race car.

"(Homebuilder) DR Horton sponsored a bounce house; this was a big hit with the kids," Biddle said. "The association set up a table with signup information for residents interested in being involved in Neighborhood Watch."

Police say bonded neighborhoods deter crime by sending the message that you are close to your neighbors and everyone is aware of what is happening in your neighborhood and is watching out for each other.

"It was a way for neighbors to meet each other. Any opportunity for residents to come together in the community in a positive way is important," Biddle said. "It is also important for the residents to meet their local law enforcement and fire crew. The Concord employees are very responsive to our community."

Biddle wants to organize a National Night Out event every year in Moss Creek Village, creating an even greater awareness of its support systems with the Concord police and fire departments.

"We hope to expand the event," she said. "Bring in more sponsors that will be able to provide more activities and possibly food items."

If you would like more information on National Night Out or want to register your neighborhood for next year, go to www.nno.org.

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