Charles County Sheriff's Office, Lt. Governor Steele prepare for National Night Out in Charles County
The Charles County Sheriff's Office, residents of 130 neighborhoods and numerous businesses are preparing for the largest crime prevention event of the year, National Night Out. As always, the event is scheduled for the first Tuesday in August - August 2 - and this year, the Sheriff's Office is proud to announce Lt. Governor Michael Steele will visit some of the neighborhoods with Sheriff Frederick E. Davis.
"Once again, our community is going to participate in National Night Out in record-breaking numbers, but this year will also mark the first time we've been honored by the presence of the Lieutenant Governor," said Sheriff Davis. "Lt. Governor Steele and I are looking forward to visiting as many neighborhoods as we can."
The national sponsor for National Night Out this year is Target, and the local Target in Waldorf will be visiting neighborhoods handing out giveaways. The Department of Social Services will hosts its first community National Night Out celebration ever for residents of La Plata. Some other special guests will take part in National Night Out this year as well. McGruff the Crime Dog and his nephew Scruff will be making appearances in many Charles County neighborhoods. New to the National Night Out celebration is the much-loved Chick-Fil-A cow, who will, for the first time, also visit neighborhoods. The Red Robin from the restaurant of the same name will show his support of National Night Out to customers at the popular eatery. Additionally, Sparky the Fire Dog will visit with citizens in Indian Head and Smokey the Bear will promote his message about fire safety at the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department.
About 50 businesses have registered to participate in National Night Out and will show their support by serving as coloring contest depots, hanging banners or displaying National Night Out messages on their marquees. Many residents will participate in National Night Out by hosting neighborhood block parties, while some residents choose to show their support for the fight against crime by leaving their porch lights on.
Children between the ages of four and 12 are invited to participate in a coloring contest sponsored by the Sheriff's Office. Entries are available from neighborhood coordinators and from several local businesses. Winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at a later date and prizes will be awarded.
"The Sheriff's Office and the citizens and businesses of this community work together all year long to keep Charles County a safe community," said Sheriff Davis. "Our partnership is strong and National Night Out gives us the opportunity to celebrate the success of our efforts."
This is the 22nd annual National Night Out. The event was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984 to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts. The first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out. This year, 34 million people in 10,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide are expected to participate, the National Association of Town Watch said. Last year, the Sheriff's Office increased participation in Charles County from 109 neighborhoods in 2003 to 124 neighborhoods. Forty-three businesses participated in 2004; Businesses first began actively participating in 2003 when 16 businesses joined in the festivities.