|Kids meet cops during Night Out|
|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Sunday, 01 August 2010 08:00|
Law enforcement does what it can to protect people and property, but officers can’t be everywhere at once.
This year, like it has for the past several years, Camp Verde joins more than 11,000 communities to celebrate National Night Out, an annual event that promotes public safety and neighborhood watch programs.
The program started in 1984 and has since grown into a real community event, a block party-style gathering.
The event will be held on the first Tuesday of August, which this year falls on Aug. 3. For years the local event has been sponsored and organized by the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office.
From 6 to 9 p.m., the town’s soccer field will hopefully be full of people enjoying food, drinks and a little entertainment.
It’s not just a meal, however; it’s a chance for residents to meet and get to know the men and women who have pledged to protect and serve the community.
Vehicles on display, including police cars and fire trucks, are always a hit with kids of all ages, according to the marshal’s office. Booths will be set up with information about neighborhood watch programs, child safety and drug awareness. Jake, the four-footed K9 officer, will also be there.
Aside from the marshal’s office, several other agencies will also be represented, including the Yavapai-Apache Police Department, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Forest Service, and Arizona Game and Fish Department.
“It’s all about community safety,” CVMO Lt. Earl Huff said. “We’re showing people a lot of different things, such as what they can do to their homes to help keep them from getting burglarized.”
Huff said neighborhood watches can be an effective deterrent to crime, but that it’s important for people to stay involved to keep the programs active. Several times he’s seen programs start up only to die down once the initial momentum wears off.
“In some areas of town we have strong [neighborhood watch] programs,” Huff said. “In other areas, we still need to work on it.”