Safer neighborhoods is goal of National Night Out

Tobi Wilder, 12, of Middletown, tries on Special Response Team tactical gear with the help of Gary Bender during the 2014 Middletown Division of Police annual National Night Out. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Tobi Wilder, 12, of Middletown, tries on Special Response Team tactical gear with the help of Gary Bender during the 2014 Middletown Division of Police annual National Night Out. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

TUESDAY’S NATIONAL NIGHT OUT EVENTS

Butler Twp., Stonespring Transitional Care Center, 4000 Singing Ridge Blvd., 6 to 8 p.m.

Carlisle, Roscoe Roof Park on Beachler Road, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Clearcreek Twp., Patricia Allyn Park, 7262 Ohio 48, south of Ohio 73, 5 to 9 p.m.

Huber Heights, in three locations: Wright Brothers Elementary, Monticello Elementary and Charles Huber Elementary School, 6 to 9 p.m.

Jackson Twp., Target parking lot at 5584 Dressler Road, 5 to 8 p.m.

Kettering, Town and Country Shipping Center, 300 E. Stroop Road, 6 to 8 p.m.

Lebanon, 50 S, Broadway St., 5 to 8 p.m.

Miami Twp., individual block parties beginning at 6 p.m., final party at Miami Twp. Administration Building, 2700 Lyons Road.

Miamisburg, Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center, 400 S Heincke Road, 5 to 8 p.m.

Moraine, Wax Park, 3800 Main St., 6 to 8 p.m.

Moraine, Payne Recreation Center, 3800 Main St., 6 to 8 p.m.

Piqua, various block parties, 6 to 8 p.m.

Trotwood, Home Depot Parking Lot, 5200 Salem Ave., 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Troy, Community Park, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sugarcreek Twp., Community Outreach Trailer, 4341 Feedwire Road, 5 to 8 p.m.

Vandalia, Vandalia Sports Complex, 1101 Stonequarry Road, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

West Carrollton, West Carrollton Community Pool, 1226 S. Elm St., 6 to 8 p.m.

Preventing crime and improving relations between citizens and police will be the goal when local law enforcement officers and residents come together Tuesday to celebrate National Night Out.

More than 15 communities in the Miami Valley have events planned that evening.

“(Citizens) get to see us in a light other than a police action,” said Capt. Erik Wilson of the Trotwood Police. “They see we all want the same thing, we all want to be safe in our homes and offices and neighborhoods.”

More than 16,000 communities and 38 million neighbors are expected to participate in 2015 National Night Out events across the country, according to the organization’s website.

Miami Twp.’s upcoming celebration, its 22nd, follows a year in which it ranked eighth nationally in communities of its size for its National Night Out event, said Miami Twp. Police Chief Ron Hess.

To earn such acclaim, participants are required to establish an annual program that focuses on reducing or preventing crime, said Leah O’Malley, the police department’s accreditation manager.

The theme of this year’s event is “At Night, Close it Tight,” which deals with reducing neighborhood crimes of opportunity by securing property in and around your home, she said.

“We want to strengthen the relationship with the citizens of Miami Twp.,” O’Malley said. “And show them that we’re here and we want to help. We want them to call us anytime they need us.”

Twenty block parties will be held throughout the township as part of the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Groups of township officials plan on visiting the gatherings.

A public party is also planned at the gazebo outside the Miami Twp. Administration Building at 2700 Lyons Road.

“Going to all of those places is so much better than being in one spot,” Hess said.

Though most communities choose to hold their events in one central location, Piqua and Huber Heights will be joining Miami Twp. in having multiple block parties in their neighborhoods Tuesday night, officials said.

Officer Ed Savard of the Huber Heights Police Department said this is the first year the city is trying block parties.

Officials hope that having block parties will increase turnout for the event.

“By having it in an area of specific neighborhood, it feels more personal,” Savard said.

He added National Night Out was a positive way for the police and citizens to connect.

“It’s a way to connect the police department with the citizens,” Savard said. “We really liked that idea because we wanted to connect with the community.”