Coon Rapids gears up for Night to Unite

Coon Rapids is gearing up for its annual Night to Unite celebration Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The Coon Rapids Police Department is taking registrations for neighborhood gatherings that will take place that evening.

“This is a great opportunity to get out and meet your neighbors,” said Officer Bill Michael, Night to Unite coordinator.

Those registering a party can pick up a bag from the Coon Rapids Police Department containing crime prevention tips and other items for the party, according to Michael.

“We will have police officers and firefighters out visiting parties, so register early,” Michael said.

The goal of Night to Unite is to help neighbors come together to increase crime prevention awareness and strengthen the partnership the police department has with citizens.

Night to Unite 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.

• Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Neighborhood gatherings usually begin around 5:30 p.m., but it is up to the individual group to set a time that works best for it.

Last year, 98 Night to Unite events in Coon Rapids registered with the police department.

According to Michael, Night to Unite has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in the fight for a safer nation.

This will be the fourth year the program has been known as Nite to Unite; its previous incarnation was National Night Out.

The name of the program was changed because the police department decided to no longer be involved in the National Night Out event, which was under the auspices of the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit organization which came under scrutiny for the compensation earned by its executive director.

Night to Unite is sponsored by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association (MPCA) and AAA of Minnesota/Iowa.

To register and get more information about the Coon Rapids Night to Unite celebration, click on the Night to Unite link on the city of Coon Rapids website at or call 763-767-6481.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]