National Night Out Against Crime is Tuesday, and about 40 households in Spokane Valley and Spokane County are planning private picnics and parties.
“If you haven’t heard of a party near you, you should call the Neighborhood Watch coordinator,” said Venus Delcambre-Morris, National Night Out Against Crime coordinator for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. “Ideally, someone will have reached out to you even if you are new in a neighborhood.”
Some neighborhoods host regular block parties and others rely on long-term volunteers to host a backyard barbecue or a picnic at a local park.
In Spokane, there are nearly 70 parties planned, said Maurece Vulcano, program manager for COPS.
“We are down 30 from last year,” Vulcano said. “Some of the smaller parties have combined into larger parties and some longtime supporters have moved or can’t do it anymore.”
Public parties planned this year include:
Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop, at 1200 N. Freya St., will host a party from 6-8 p.m. Owner Robin Ball said she’s been invited to so many Night Out Against Crime parties over the years, she decided to host an event at her business.
At 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. staff will present part of a crime-prevention program offered by the business called “Refuse to be a Victim,” Ball said.
Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell will be there, along with an expert on the legal issues surrounding the use of lethal force.
“And we are going to do cake and ice cream for everyone,” Ball said.
The South Hill Target at 4915 S. Regal St. has a parking lot party that runs from 10 a.m. to noon. The SCOPE mounted patrol will be there, as will representatives from SpokAnimal. There also will be a display of fire and other rescue vehicles.
The Spokane Valley Target at 13724 E. Sprague Ave. has its party from 1-3 p.m. and the mounted patrol is going to be there as well. The Sheriff’s office helicopter Air One will be on display alongside other rescue equipment and firetrucks.
The north side Target on Newport Highway is not having a party this year.
The Martin Luther King Center at 845 S. Sherman St. has an event from 4:30-7 p.m. and is planning a carnival with informational booths, snacks and snow cones.
The Downtown Spokane Partnership will close Wall Street between Sprague and Main avenues for its party from 4 to 6 p.m.
In Spokane Valley, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2511 S. Pines Road, is hosting an event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Event organizer Vicki Egesdal said the church has suffered several burglaries and acts of vandalism in the past year.
“We are sure we aren’t the only victims of crime in the neighborhood,” Egesdal said. “We think the best way to prevent crime is for the neighbors to get to know each other.”
Holy Trinity will serve ice cream treats and there will be live 1950s music as well as representatives from local law enforcement. There also will be information about Block Watch, and crime and fire prevention tips.
At least one Night Out Against Crime party will be on a different date: East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone St., is planning its party for Aug. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. That party usually draws hundreds of people and features free food, live music and all sorts of entertainment, said organizer Christina Nelson.
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