Local Communities Step Out To Fight Crime

By Gabriella Cuzzola

STATE—This August, communities all over the country are taking a stand and fighting back against crime.

The National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is an event involving all citizens, especially law enforcement agencies, neighborhood organizations and local officials. It involves communities throughout America and Canada. Last year, over 37 million people participated.


The goals of the National Night Out are four-fold: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for local anti-crime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Carteret is joining in the National Night Out by inviting all citizens to lock their doors and turn out their lights from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Residents are encouraged to spend the night outside with friends, family, neighbors, and the police. In the past, neighborhoods have held block parties and barbecues to celebrate the fight against drugs and crime.

Carteret residents should contact Susan Skoczypiec, coordinator of the event, at (732) 541-4127 if they would like the police to make a stop in their neighborhood. Police will be handing out National Night Out promotional items while supplies last.

The Maple Tree seniors of Avenel will be hosting their own National Night Out celebration. All residents are invited to the Maple Tree Manor, located at 1255 Rahway Avenue in Avenel at 6 p.m. on Aug. 4. This is the third year that the Maple Tree seniors will be holding an event.

“We are expecting about 80 to 85 seniors,” says event manager Runi Sriwardena, “It started out as a little neighborhood watch and has now become a big event!”

The police department, fire department, and all first aid squads have been invited, as well as community members, to enjoy raffles, music, and hot dogs and hamburgers.

Metuchen will be celebrating the National Night Out at Metuchen Borough Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4. There will be a tour of the Police Department and citizens will be able to view police bikes, motorcycles, and cars. There will be free giveaways, demonstrations, and pizza. For more information call the Metuchen Recreation Commission at 732-632-8502.

Perth Amboy is also participating by throwing a celebration at the Y.M.C.A located at 365 New Brunswick Avenue. The festivities will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4. They promise music, fun, and prizes, with free giveaways from Target. There will also be free food, including hot dogs and popcorn.

Linden will hold their event at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade, located at 400 North Wood Avenue, on Aug. 4 from 5-7 p.m. The police department will run the event, handing out hot dogs and T-shirts along with other free giveaways. At 7:30 p.m., Joe Bonanno & The Godsons of Soul will perform.

Elizabeth will be celebrating the National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Waterfront Park. Police will be there along with the Fire Department, who will give a Jaws of Life demonstration. Outstanding citizens will be given awards by the city council. The post office will unveil a new stamp and there will be a martial arts demonstration. There will be free food and free giveaways.

Rahway is also participating in the National Night Out. Their event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 6-9 p.m. in Downtown Rahway, at the corner of Irving and Elm Ave. They will showcase classic cars, as well as emergency vehicles. There will be food vendors and an oldies concert will take place.

National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin sums up the project, “This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity.”

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