PIQUA —With National Night Out approaching in August, organizers for local block parties are encouraging Piqua’s neighborhoods to get a jump start on planning.
“Community crime prevention starts at the neighborhood level,” Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said. “So we want to use National Night Out to build stronger neighborhoods in every area of the city.”
Jamison explained that National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and better places to live.
Stronger neighborhoods are also evident after last year’s National Night Out, after the block parties helped bring neighbors together who might not have otherwise met.
“Two neighborhoods in particular, I know there were people who had never met each other before, but this brought them out of their houses, into the same spot in the neighborhood … to talk to each other, and they built relationships,” Jamison said, adding, “We were very pleased. We had five block parties last year.”
Organizers for the event, which include the Piqua Police Department and the PROTECT Piqua Board of Trustees, are hoping that the participation in National Night Out will increase this year.
“We’re building a budget around 10 block parties,” Jamison said.
The Piqua Police Department’s tactical rescue vehicle is expected to be out and about again during this year’s National Night Out, stopping at each of the block parties for people to see and children to climb inside for a look around. The Piqua Fire Department will also be out again this year, promoting carbon monoxide detectors. Other community organizations are also expected to participate as well. Jamison explained that the early start will help organizers establish a schedule to get to all of the places.
National Night Out will be held on Aug. 2 from 6-8 p.m. Those interested in participating or in getting a block party organized for their neighborhood are encouraged to contact PROTECT Piqua board member Jim Vetter at (937) 778-1696 or Jamison at (937) 778-2029 for additional information. If an organization has important community information to distribute at these events, they should contact Jamison for instructions.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336