By S'iva Goodman
FORT PIERCE - On Tuesday, August 1, more than 10,000 communities throughout the country will lock their doors and join neighbors and the local police outside to celebrate neighborhood unification.
The nationwide event is the 23rd annual National Night Out, designed to unite communities to collectively fight crime and drug activities in their neighborhoods. And Fort Pierce will be involved.
According to www.nationalnightout.org, the 23rd Annual National Night Out is an effort organized to:
Heighten crime prevention and awareness
Generate support and participation for local anticrime efforts.
Strengthen neighborhood spirits and partnerships between the police and the community they serve.
Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
The campaign involves members of local law enforcement agencies, civic groups, neighborhood organizations, businesses and citizens.
By uniting the communities, cities hope to provide a safer place to live.
In Fort Pierce, the Hibiscus Park and Crime Watch Organization will host a National Night Out event at Glidden Park.
This year's event will include live music by "The Coffee Beans," and children's activities, including a bounce house, face painting, games with prizes and a dunk crime tank. Food, such as hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage and peppers and beverages will be sold by the Hibiscus Park Association and Oakland Park Crime Watch and Community Unity groups. Proceeds will benefit neighborhood crime watch activities and efforts to clean up areas that may need attention.
Local businesses will set up informational booths. The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office and Fort Pierce Police Department will be on hand to meet and greet neighbors and answer safety and crime queries.
"Last year, we saw an estimated 250 people," Mr. Chris Dzadovsky. "This year we expect at least 250, possibly up to 700 people to attend."
In addition to food and fun, the new Fort Pierce trolley will give residents a chance to see their tax dollars at work, as it offers rides to and from parking areas. It will also transport residents who live in the neighborhood to and from their homes.
"The Hibiscus Park Crime Watch Association has been recognized by the police department and the Sheriff's office," Mr. Dzadovsky. "And crime has decreased in our area since we started in 2000. We welcome other neighborhoods to get involve and protect their communities from drug and crime activities."
He added the National Night Out will happen, rain or shine, and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and umbrellas.
For more information about National Night Out, visit the Web site, at www.nationalnightout.org
Glidden Park is located on the corner of Parkway and South 10th Street in Fort Pierce.
For more information contact Chris Dzadovsky, at (772) 834-8539.