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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

Crime prevention event brings neighbors together to talk about safety, emergency preparedness, and community

Berkeley, California (Thursday, August 02, 2007) - Residents all over Berkeley will be coming together to share food, shake hands, and in the long run, build the kind of neighborhoods that works together to prevent and respond to crime.

National Night Out is being celebrated Tuesday, August 7, and more than three dozen parties have registered.

“National Night Out is a big event in Berkeley,” said City Manager Phil Kamlarz. “It was founded around the idea of crime prevention, but it’s become a lot more than that. It’s a chance for neighbors to come together, talk about the issues that concern them, and work together on solutions. Plus, it’s fun.”

National Night Out is organized by the Berkeley Police Department, which works with neighborhood groups to plan their events, block off the streets, plan their post-event clean up, and reach out to new neighbors. Police officers, firefighters, and representatives from other City departments also visit the events to share information about crime prevention, emergency preparedness, and other City services.

“Neighbors play a huge part in contributing to community safety,” said Sgt. Mary C. Kusmiss. “By knowing what to look for and how to respond to what you see and hear, everyone can participate to deter and respond to crime. This is the essence of community policing.”

Residents who want to plan or attend an event in their neighborhood can visit BPD’s website {WCM Project Notes - web link temporarily removed during beta testing} for information, or they can call the Community Services Bureau at 981-5808. The website has a list of registered block parties so new residents can find the party nearest them, and it’s not to late to plan and register a party.

“Crime and violence prevention are major concerns for Berkeley residents, and we are proud to be hosting this event,” said Kamlarz. “These block parties help neighbors learn to know and look out for each other, and it’s a central mission for this City to foster those relationships.”


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