On Tuesday, Aug. 5 neighbors across the state will gather for annual Night to Unite celebrations.
There will be thousands of parties throughout Anoka County, all in the spirit of improving neighborhood relationships and increasing public safety.
“The benefit is to get to know your neighbors and giving people the platform to talk about public safety,” said Laura Landes, a crime prevention specialist with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
The hope, said Landes, is that residents take it a step further and set up a neighborhood crime watch group.
“We talk to them about how to notice crime and how to report suspicious activity,” she said.
This can include reminding residents to keep an eye out for details – the color and license plate of a vehicle or the direction a suspect is traveling.
Those crime watch groups create a direct connection between neighborhoods and the local police department.
Night to Unite is also an opportunity for positive interactions between law enforcement and community members, which isn’t always the case.
Landes often visits parties in neighborhoods that have made great strides in improving public safety in their area.
“What I have noticed, and what the sheriff (James Stuart) has told me as well, is how many residents are thankful for the deputies and how they tell us they (the deputies) have gone above and beyond,” Landes said.
For more information about Night to Unite, contact your local police department.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org