Tuesday, August 3, 2004

'Night Out' participants gang up against crime

By Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer

Cincinnati-area activities

Here's a list of local National Night Out events Tuesday.

Most are 6-9 p.m. unless noted:

• Avondale: 5-8 p.m., Martin Luther King Park: Balloons, coloring contest, free ice cream; 6-9 p.m. Forest and Burnet Avenues, food, drinks, games.

• Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview Heights: Cookout in Fairview Park.

• College Hill: Cookout, College Hill Presbyterian Church.

• Hamilton: 7-9 p.m., old Butler County Courthouse: Joint party with Hamilton, Fairfield, Butler County Sheriff's Office, Oxford, Fairfield Township, West Chester and Monroe: Kids can get their pictures taken on Officer Bob's horse.

• Hyde Park, Ault Park: Free Frisbees for every child; music by the Most Wanted law-enforcement band; displays by the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society; bicycle and fire safety lessons.

• Mason: 7-10 p.m., Parkside subdivision off Bethany Road.

• Middletown: 5-9 p.m., Gardner Park: Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro speaks at 5; magicians, face painting, three helicopters.

• Mount Adams: Music and refreshments in monastery parking lot.

• Price Hill: All of the West Side is invited to Seton High School for music and food.

• Paddock Hills: Ice cream socials at several homes.

• Roselawn, 6-10 p.m.: Ice cream socials at five locations, including Roselawn Lutheran Church and the police substation, 7615 Reading Road.

• Trenton: 5-8 p.m., Trenton Police Department: Snow cones, police dog demonstration, child-identification kits.

E-mail jprendergast@enquirer.com

All over Greater Cincinnati tonight, residents will flip on their porch lights, lock up and join their neighbors at cookouts and parties to make a statement against crime.

It's National Night Out, a summer event across the country for 21 years that now boasts parties and parades in nearly 10,000 communities and all 50 states.

In College Hill, residents will be walking along Hamilton Avenue toward the neighborhood cookout - the first National Night Out event in the neighborhood's history.

Amy Finnegan, a member of Citizens on Patrol, researched the idea after hearing residents talk about wanting ways to get together to show they are committed to keeping College Hill safe.

"We've met some people who are really frustrated with some of the problems around the neighborhood,'' she said Monday.

"So I started looking around for something we could do and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for us to get out, show neighborhood unity and that we care about College Hill.''

In Hamilton, officers and residents from seven communities will come together around a Pepsi booth, donated food and crime-prevention displays.

"It's just a really nice event,'' said Hamilton Officer Don Taylor.

"It brings people together.''

National Night Out is sponsored by National Association of Town Watch in Wynnewood, Pa. Communities can win awards for their events, based on criteria including the amount of participation by law enforcement as well as long-term benefits to the community.

"I didn't realize all the other neighborhoods that do this,'' Finnegan said.

"Next year, we're going to do it bigger.''

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