Time to sign up for Night to Unite neighborhood parties

If your neighborhood is thinking about signing up for a Night to Unite block party, now’s the time to take action.

Dawn Wegener and Bonnie Keefer share a moment at one of last year’s Spring Lake Park Night to Unite neighborhood parties. File photo

Dawn Wegener and Bonnie Keefer share a moment at one of last year’s Spring Lake Park Night to Unite neighborhood parties. File photo

Spring Lake Park once again is making plans for this year’s fifth annual event, which is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 6.

The evening is a time for residents to come together to celebrate, build and strengthen neighborhoods and community partnerships.

Neighborhoods with parties scheduled by the city often enjoy the visits of members from the Spring Lake Park Police Department, the Spring Lake Park/Blaine/Mounds View Fire Department and emergency medical technicians from Allina Health.

“I think it’s important as a community to get to know your neighborhood,” said Spring Lake Park Police Investigator Josh Antoine, who’s handling the sign-up for the city this year. At the parties, kids will have a chance to peak into a squad car and to check out fire engines.

Residents will have the opportunity to discuss how to proactively prevent crime, by starting a neighborhood crime watch, for example, especially important when people are away from their homes.

Also, the evening of Aug. 6, residents will be able to ask law enforcement officers questions they probably would not ask while an officer is on patrol, Antoine said.

“It makes us more approachable,” he said.

Parties usually start around 6 or 7 p.m. Last year Spring Lake Park neighborhoods hosted about a dozen Night to Unite get-togethers.

The number has remained about the same for the 10 years Antoine has been with the city, he said.

Night to Unite is sponsored by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association, AAA of Minnesota/Iowa and local law enforcement communities.

The association operates and supports statewide programs and is a source for crime prevention information.

If your neighborhood is interested in scheduling a block party, including a visit from members of the fire and police departments and from Allina emergency medical technicians, or if you need barricades for your Night to Unite party, email Antoine at jantoine@slpmn.org or call 763-792-7222. Calls and emails must be received by Friday, Aug. 2.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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