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National Night Out Set For Tuesday
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The National Night Out celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. in Riverbank.

Last year, staff of the Riverbank Police Services, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, the City of Riverbank, Sheriff's S.T.A.R.S. team, Target Store representatives, and community volunteers surprised several Riverbank residents as emergency vehicles arrived in their neighborhoods with sirens sounding and lights flashing.

"It would have looked like some kind of emergency response except for the volunteers off-loading a barbeque and cooking hot dogs for everyone," said Police Chief Tim Beck. "We surprised a lot of people with our arrival, but what better way to get someone outside.

"We enjoyed an evening of fellowship with the community, displaying fire trucks and police motorcycles. Of course, we also took the opportunity to discuss crime and fire prevention strategies with the residents, but the hot dogs were good too!"

This year is the 25th anniversary of National Night Out, a unique crime and drug prevention event that involves citizens, public safety agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials.

National Night out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, to generate and support anti-crime programs, and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. It also sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

"This year's Riverbank event will be organized a little differently than last year. We have asked Neighborhood Watch groups and other members of the community, including members of the City Council, to host their own block parties in celebration of National Night Out. We are seeing some organization in the community but always have room for more neighborhoods," said Beck.

Police, Fire and City of Riverbank staff will visit neighborhoods. Target Store representatives, Sheriff's S.T.A.R.S. and other community members will also take part. There will be prizes and treats provided by Target and Kohl's stores.

Any neighborhood wishing to participate should call Riverbank Police Services at 863-7106.