Nat Night Out

National Night Out brought out a bunch of kids to Mohr Park in Cedar Crest on Tuesday Aug. 7, 2018. Patrick Miller, 9, shooting free throws against Howard County Deputy Steve Kline. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

Residents across Kokomo are invited Tuesday to join the annual National Night Out, a crime and drug prevention event that takes place across the country and partners private citizens, law enforcement, civil groups, businesses and elected officials.

The Kokomo Police Department has cited four reasons for the event: to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support and participation in anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and enhance police-community partnerships; and to “send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”

This year’s event, however, comes amidst concerns from current and former police officers and political candidates that Kokomo’s police force is understaffed and therefore unable to regularly engage in the kind of community policing promoted by the National Night Out event.

But on Tuesday, residents in neighborhoods across Kokomo “are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police,” according to a KPD media release.

Between 4 and 6 p.m. Tuesday various Kokomo neighborhoods will host block parties, cookouts and visits from police. According to a post on the KPD Facebook page, they include:

  • Garden Square, 800 E. Hoffer St.
  • Pine Valley, 100 E. Center Road
  • Civic Towers, 200 E. Taylor St.
  • Terrace Towers, 605 S. Bell St.
  • Dunbar Court, 801 N. Jay St.
  • Turtle Creek, 2241 W. Jefferson St.

The event wraps up with Bash at the Beach; Kokomo Beach will open for a free evening swim from 6-8 p.m.

The city will provide transportation to Kokomo Beach. Pick-up points include Garden Square, Dunbar Court and Pine Valley. Children under 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and anyone who plans to swim will need appropriate swimwear.

Residents unable to attend National Night Out who wish to share or request information from the KPD or establish a local Crime Watch are asked to contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 765-456-7333 or email nmarcus@cityofkokomo.org.

Residents can also call the KPD hotline at 765-456-7017.

George Myers can be reached at 765-454-8585, by email at george.myers@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @gmyerskt.

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George Myers covers city and county government. He joined the Kokomo Tribune on November 18, 2014.