Neighbors connect at National Night Out

When neighbors get to know neighbors, neighborhoods can become safer places for everyone. That’s the message that the annual National Night Out – America’s Night Out Against Crime – promotes.

In the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, Aug. 3, celebrations will take place in neighborhoods across Pierce County, on the streets and at local parks and community centers, so you can get to know your neighbors.

“National Night Out is all about bringing people together,” said Priscilla Lisicich, executive director of Safe Streets, which sponsors the annual event. “If we can build a sense of ‘can do’ among neighbors, we can improve our neighborhoods, take pride in them and make them safer for our children,” she said.

Local National Night Out celebrations will include block parties, barbecues, picnics, cook outs, safety fairs with representative from police and fire departments, and other events. Highlights of neighborhood celebrations include:

– Live music and a children’s basketball tournament at the 72nd Street and Puget Sound Avenue.

– Live music and cultural dance performances in the 44th Street and Portland Avenue area at Salishan.

– A carnival theme celebration on the 7600 block between Sheridan and Yakima streets.

– A special celebration at Stewart Heights Park, now a safer place because of Stewart Heights Neighborhood Coalition’s year-long effort to clean the park up and eliminate criminal activity in the area.

Neighbors in Tacoma and Pierce County will join more than 9,000 other communities across the county to make a statement against crime. It’s the 21st year for the nationwide event, and Safe Streets has sponsored the local celebrations for 12 years. The non-profit organization helps organize block groups that increase neighborliness and reduce crime. Safe Street’s block organizing work improves a community’s livability, creating better parks, improved housing, safe activities for youth, and a better environment for area businesses.

Last year, 112 celebrations took place in Tacoma and unincorporated Pierce County.

“Safe communities serve everyone. Through National Night Out, residents learn what they can do to reduce crime,” said Lisicich. “When neighborhoods get organized, they can strengthen neighborhood unity and support law enforcement’s crime-fighting efforts. They send a clear message that their neighborhoods are not prey for illegal activity,” she said.

For more information, call Safe Streets at 253/272-6824 or e-mail