Pine City to join cities nationwide for ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’
On Tuesday, August 2nd, neighborhoods throughout Pine City are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “28th Annual National Night Out” (NNO) crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored by several local agencies and organizations, will involve over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all, over 37 million people are expected to participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’. NNO 2011 is being supported in part by TARGET, a national corporate sponsor.
National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and local participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on August 2nd, residents in neighborhoods throughout Pine City and across the nation, are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Many neighborhoods throughout Pine City will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, flashlight walks, visits from police, contests, youth activities and anticrime rallies.
For those hosting a neighborhood event who would like to register it so that others in the neighborhood can find out about it, and so a deputy or community leader can stop by, please do so by calling Pine City’s Neighborhood Watch co-chair and National Night Out coordinator, Jody Pangerl, at (320) 629-7553.
At 9 p.m. in Voyageur Park, all block parties and the rest of the community are invited to an open-air movie, “How to Train Your Dragon”, at Voyageur Park at Main St. N and 1st Ave. NW, behind the VFW. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the outdoor film with others in the community.
“How to Train Your Dragon” is a 2010 computer-animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name. The family film stars the voices of Craig Ferguson and Kristen Wiig, among other humorists. The story follows a young Viking teenager named Hiccup who aspires to follow his tribe’s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, and with his chance at finally gaining the tribe’s acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it.
National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation. On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us in Giving Crime & Drugs A Going Away Party.”
Contact: Coordinator Jody Pangerl at (320) 629-7553 or City Planner Nathan Johnson at (320) 629-2575.
Optional: National Association of Town Watch / (610) 649-7055 / www.nationalnightout.org
About 15 residents came out Tuesday, April 19, to learn more about Neighborhood Watch, its potential benefits to Pine City, and how to get involved. A kick-off event was held that evening at the American Legion.
City staff welcomed atendees then introduced Deputy Paul Widenstrom of the Pine County Sheriff’s Department, who led the discussion. Though Pine City is the largest city in the county, and home to the local law enforcement agency, it hasn’t had an organized Neighborhood Watch in some time.
“Neighborhood Watch exists in several of our cities in Pine County, Hinckley, Sandstone and Askov,” said Widenstrom. “This is our third time trying to start it in Pine City.”
At least one attendee said she came to the kick-off to hopefully meet a neighbor of hers but, unfortunately, no one else showed from her neighborhood. Attendees expressed their interest in the information sharing that can take place when a Neighborhod Watch is successful in a community, between the Sheriff’s Department and the residents.
While Neighborhood Watch hadn’t been active in Pine City in over a decade, over the past four years, National Night Out has been celebrated with neighborhood block parties and get togethers. Last year, the sheriff’s department and city officials made their rounds to approximately a half-a-dozen of them.
Widenstrom shared the resources available to the community including department staff being able to join in at meetings with presentations, handouts, and the ability of the department to provide Neighborhood Watch signs, when available, upon request.
Contact information was gathered from those in attendance and the next meeting date was set, for May 17 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The topics of discussion for the next meeting are lighting and the City’s curfew. The hope of the newly-formed committee is to have interested residents from each of the City’s neighborhoods in attendance.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly answers to crime. Watch groups are a foundation of community crime prevention and they can be a stepping stone to community revitalization. A small planning committee will begin meeting to discuss needs, the level of interest, possible challenges, and the overall Watch concept.
Plan to attend: Mon., Feb. 2 @ DAKA Conference Room @ 7 pm (955 Industrial St NE)
Generally, a Watch group is an association of neighbors looking out for each other’s families and property, alerting the police to any suspicious activities or crime in progress, and working together to make their community a safer and better place to live. The sheriff’s department cannot do it alone.
Everyone – young, old, single, married, renter or homeowner – is invited to attend. For more information, contact Sarah Rydberg at (320) 629-8053 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .