Register now for National Night Out in Cedar Rapids

18th annual event takes place Aug. 1

Isabella Sanchez, 5, of Marion plays a giant game of Connect Four with Marion Police officer Trent Stotler during National Night Out at Thomas Park in Marion on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. Marion Police and Fire Departments partnered with Marion Parks and Recreation to host one of the dozens of gatherings in the area Tuesday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Isabella Sanchez, 5, of Marion plays a giant game of Connect Four with Marion Police officer Trent Stotler during National Night Out at Thomas Park in Marion on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. Marion Police and Fire Departments partnered with Marion Parks and Recreation to host one of the dozens of gatherings in the area Tuesday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Police Department is encouraging residents to register now to take part in the 18th annual National Night Out event in the city.

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.

This year’s event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1.

At that time, residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on their front porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and law enforcement officials. Along with the traditional outside lights and front porch vigils, most cities celebrate National Night Out by hosting block parties, cookouts and various community events with safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.

“I encourage citizens in Cedar Rapids to participate in National Night Out,” said Police Chief Wayne Jerman. “By participating in events like this, neighbors get to know one another and can work together with the police department to create a safe community. It is always a good idea to know your neighbors and know what is going on in your neighborhood. Working together, we can continue to prevent crime in our neighborhoods.”

Those planning a National Night Out event should take these three steps to register:

l Determine the location, time and refreshments.

l Go to cedar-rapids.org/police to download an invitation that can be customized and sent to neighbors.

l Invite your neighbors and enjoy the night.

Your National Night Out event can be as simple as a potluck, cookout or dessert. One person can be responsible for the entire event or you can share the responsibility. But make sure to register. Cedar Rapids police officers will stop at each event throughout the community.

To get more information on how to host an event or to register your event so that police officers can stop by, contact Sgt. Cristy Hamblin at (319) 286-5439 or email your National Night Out time, location and event to c.hamblin@cedar-rapids.org.

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