ALTON — The Alton National Night Out Kickoff Party is set for 5-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at the Liberty Bank Amphitheater, the Alton Police Department announced.
The free event is open to the public and will feature demonstrations by the Alton police and fire departments, music, prizes, free food and other activities.
According to the National Association of Town Watch website, the introduction in 1984 of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are fighting back.
National Night Out involves more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
The traditional “lights on” campaign and symbolic front porch vigils turned into a celebration including block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies and marches, exhibits, youth events, safety demonstrations and seminars.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie,” National Association of Town Watch Executive Director Matt Peskin said. “While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”