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San Fernando to Hold National Night Out Celebration PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia Sun Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 03:39

The City of San Fernando is joining communities across the San Fernando Valley and the country in putting together the second national "Night out" celebration, an event that seeks to bring police and community together and improve public safety.

"This is a great opportunity for the community and the police to celebrate a night to be safe," said Irwin Rosenberg, president of the Police Officers Association (POA), which is sponsoring the event.

"The POA really values the partnership with the community. We have great people in the community of San Fernando," Rosenberg added.

Despite being a relatively safe city, San Fernando is not devoid of crime.

Through May, the San Fernando Police Department had reported 14 robberies, down from 19 in 2011; 57 assaults, a decrease from 60 last year; 76 burglaries, up from 73 the previous year; and 52 larcenies, a two-incident decrease from 2011.

Auto theft continues to be a problem in San Fernando, however. Through May, the police had reported 40 incidents of this crime, up from 25 last year.

Rosenberg said a lowered crime rate could only be achieved when the community and police work together.

"You can't solve crimes without the partnership with the community," he said.

This is the second year San Fernando has participated the event, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the San Fernando Parking Lot on First Street and Maclay Avenue.

Well attended event

More than 200 people attended last year's event, which included food and entertainment.

This year promises to be no different.

An advertising flier said there would be free hot dogs, drinks, popsicles and kettle corn at the event.

Also, a DJ is scheduled to play music, while kids will enjoy a bouncer. There will be 50s San Fernando Police Department patrol vehicles on display. The Police Explorer Post will provide fingerprinting for kids and youth, and attendees will also get a chance to "Dunk-A-Cop" in a Dunk Tank.

The idea behind the event is for residents to meet police officers, ask questions they may have, or report problems in their neighborhoods in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

It is also a chance for residents to meet neighborhood watch groups that have sprung up throughout the city, each led by a captain who serves as liaison between the police and neighbors. The groups meet once a month with police representatives to discuss current crime trends and concerns in their communities.

A national celebration

First held in 1984 with a lights-on vigil, National Night Out is held every year on the first Tuesday of August.

Last year, more than 15,000 events were held across the country and more than 37 million people took part in them. Those events include block parties, festivals, cookouts, parades and marches.

The celebration is meant to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, as well as send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, according to the National Night Out website, www.nationalnightout.org.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 08:34