On Tuesday night, Temple Terrace is inviting residents to turn on their porch lights, host block parties and head to the Temple Terrace Rec Center for National Night Out.
The goal of the event is to bring the community together and let crooks know the city is fighting back against crime.
“It’s a great opportunity to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships,” said Temple Terrace Police Officer Karen Walter.
Walter, who works in the Crime Prevention Unit, said residents can expect the same free, fun experience that Temple Terrace has put on since 1995 when it began participating in National Night Out.
The Rec Center will have a rock wall, a moon walk, face painting, ice cream, sand art and giveaways from Target. Attendees will be able to meet police officers who serve the community and see police and fire vehicles and demonstrations.
Police officers will also visit neighborhoods that have organized block parties. According to Community Service Officer Tracy Mishler, four neighborhoods will be having block parties.
Most communities around the country celebrated National Night Out on Aug. 2. Temple Terrace’s event usually coincides with the national celebration, but Walter said the city received permission from the National Association of Town Watch, which sponsors the campaign, to have it on the same day as Texas, Oct. 4.
“We requested it not so much because of the heat, but because of the rain and lightning we get in August, which usually prevents us from doing our flashlight walk around the neighborhood at 8:30 p.m.,” she said.
According to National Night Out 2011, last year’s campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, more than 37 million people participated.