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UC police delay Night Out events

UC police delay Night Out events

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Union City police will have a change of scenery for this year’s National Night Out festivities.
The event is being moved to October.
National Night Out is a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and supported by communities and police departments nationwide.
The Union City Police Department has sponsored activities for many years and has consistently won national honors — including again being named a national award winner last year among cities with under 15,000 population.
The 29th annual event is scheduled nationwide for Aug. 7, but some communities are planning to move National Night Out events to the fall in order to avoid hot summer weather and to take advantage of cooler fall temperatures.
Among those making the change this year is the Union City Police Department — which will observe National Night Out on Oct. 2.
National Night Out already lists Oct. 2 as an optional alternative date for the celebration in Texas and apparently several other communities and police departments have been considering moving activities to the fall.
Acting Union City Police Chief Perry Barfield said planning is still under way and various ideas are being considered, but Union City’s celebration will definitely include neighborhood block parties — which have been very popular in past years.
Barfield said police are also considering the possibility of some type of anti-crime march in order to “get folks together” in a show of solidarity.
Police hope that by changing to an October date, the weather will be more pleasant and more people will participate. Daytime events would be more limited since children will be in school in October, but the block parties and a community march could be scheduled for the late afternoon or evening hours.
“In recent years, it’s been so hot that people didn’t get out much, but there may be some more folks who would participate in October,” Barfield said. “We’re still looking at ideas.”
Anyone already interested in hosting a National Night Out block party in their neighborhood in Union City may contact Barfield at the police department at 885-1515 for more information.
Elsewhere in West Tennessee, the Jackson Police Department has also already announced plans to observe National Night Out on Oct. 2 this year and is seeking participants to organize neighborhood block parties.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
For more information, visit the website www.nationalnightout.org.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 7.23.12

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