SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Residents throughout the San Diego area will unite in a display of community solidarity this evening as part of the 29th annual "National Night Out" anti-crime rally.
The event, held on the first Tuesday of August each year, is designed to heighten crime and drug-prevention awareness, generate support for local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood cohesion and police-community relations while sending criminals the message that neighborhoods are taking a stand against them, organizers say.
Citizens are invited to participate by turning on their outdoor lights and spending the evening out and about with neighbors and law enforcement officers, who will be patrolling in increased numbers while interacting with the public.
The following "Night Out" events are planned around the county:
-- Eastern San Diego: visits with local law enforcement officers, free snacks, a self-defense demonstration, finger-painting, games, giveaways and live entertainment, Salvation Army Kroc Center Recreation Field, 6845 University Ave., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
-- Southeastern San Diego: family activities, youth-advocacy services and safety information, Skyline Park, 7222 Skyline Drive, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
-- South Bay: appearances by members of numerous law enforcement agencies, Robert Egger Senior South Bay Recreation Center, 1885 Coronado Ave., San Diego, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
-- Chula Vista: police and emergency-services demonstrations, police station tours, crime-prevention information, face-painting, free food, drinks and giveaways, front courtyard, Chula Vista police headquarters, 315 fourth Ave., 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
-- Encinitas: visits with members of the sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit, child fingerprinting, free hot dogs, Target store, 1010 N. El Camino Real, noon to 5 p.m.
-- Escondido: tours of police and fire headquarters, service-dog demonstrations, and crime and drug prevention information, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
-- Oceanside: Screening of the film "Puss in Boots," snacks, demonstrations and face-painting. Joe Balderrama Park, 709 San Diego St., 6 p.m.. to 9:30 p.m.
-- San Marcos: games, 911 dispatchers, a "talking" patrol car and fingerprinting, Bulow Park, 300 Autumn Drive, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and San Elijo Hills Park, 1105 Elfin Forest Road, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
-- Santee: neighborhood walk, picnics, law enforcement displays, prescription drug drop-off, Woodglen Vista Apartments, 10450 Woodglen Vista Drive, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
-- Vista: Walk against Crime, entertainment and information booths, Main Street and South Indiana Avenue, events begin at 5:30 p.m., march is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Last year, an estimated 37 million people across the United States participated in National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. More information is available at nationalnightout.org.