From Staff Reports

Prosper Police are once again extending the invitation to neighbors and neighborhoods to

participate in the annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 1, an evening that sends an unmistakable message to criminals that they are not welcome in Prosper, according to Assistant Chief of Police Gary McHone.

"Prosper residents have embraced this event year after year, and it continues to grow both in participation numbers and in its symbolic significance. As the Town grows in population, we nevertheless want to maintain that small town flavor of knowing who our neighbors are and counting on each other for support," he said.

The 2013 version is the 30- year anniversary of the crime and drug prevention event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored by the Prosper Police Dept.

"The creativity of neighborhoods that participate every year continue to impress us. It’s clear that the message of keeping an eye out for each other is taking root. Studies prove that one of the best way to prevent crime is through citizen participation, alertness and reporting. National Night Out helps us reinforce that message," he added.

National Night Out was created as an effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts. While the traditional ‘lights on’ and front porch vigils remain a part of National Night Out, activities have expanded considerably over the years to include block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from police, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings.

Neighborhoods can register their event with the Police Dept., ensuring that visits from public safety personnel occur sometime throughout the evening. Traditionally, fire and police personnel along with their respective mascots, including equipment demonstrations, visit registered events and mingle with residents.

"That visit may be the only time we meet with residents but it’s an important connection. We want them to know who our officers are, and how we can help each other," he said.

Events usually run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and registered events can count on visits from police and fire sometime during that time period.

NNO is an opportunity for communities to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year.

Neighborhoods, neighborhood associations and individuals wanting to register their event should contact the Prosper Police Department at (972) 347-9002 or send an email to Officer Marty Nevil at marty_nevil@prospertx.gov.