National Night Out proves successful - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National Night Out proves successful

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August 7, 2007

Albany -- People all over the country got together with their neighbors and their neighborhood police officers Tuesday night as part of the 24th annual National Night Out.

In its 22nd year in Albany, the National Night Out event had members of the Albany Police Department out in full force.

In 4 local neighborhoods the APD was fighting crime in a different way; through cookouts, face painting, and games.

Lt. Eddie Jones is APD's District 3 Commander. He says that local NNO events build strong relationships between the department and the community.

"It's an effort between the police department and the Albany Housing Authority, and the community.  Hopefully we can build some relationships here and have a positive outcome from it."

The NNO event on the 900 block of Cherry Ave. also brought out firefighters and local housing authorities. It was a chance for them to get to know the people they serve.

Kids enjoyed the fun and games. Adults, like mother of 4 Loretha McDonald, see the NNO event as a way to keep the streets safe.

She said, "It's very important for us and the kids to come around here now that they're starting back to school. They enjoy stuff like this. They can get to know the police and firemen in the community, and they help out the community through this."

The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness through local anti-crime efforts.

A police-community partnership that Albany Police Chief James Younger believes will send a strong message to criminals.

He said, "It gives police officers an opportunity to interact with the public on a much more informal basis. But it also sends a message to criminals that the community and the police department are part of a team together, and together they're fighting against the criminal element."

A message that community involvement can keep the streets and citizens of Albany safe through laid back, personal interaction.

National organizers expected 35 million Americans to take part in National Night Out activities tonight in all 50 states.

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