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Reference: August 1, 2006 - Portsmouth National Night Out Against Crime

This year's Portsmouth National Night Out Against Crime is looking as though it will be a big success with 16 neighborhoods signed up to participate in the event.

On Tuesday, August 1, beginning at 5:30 pm, neighborhoods across the city will host block parties with food and games. City officials will visit the neighborhoods, and visiting city vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, dump trucks, etc. give the kids a chance to blow horns, fire off sirens, try on bullet proof vests, and pet police dogs.

Organized by the city Police Department and the Citywide Neighborhood Committee, this annual event is designed to help neighbors get to know each other as well as their local law enforcement officials.

Lt. Dante Puopolo from the police department noted that officers from the force look forward to this event each year. "They enjoy the opportunity to meet the residents of the neighborhoods they patrol. And it helps the residents become familiar with their police force in a non-stressful atmosphere, so when they need to call the police, they feel comfortable knowing who is at the other end of the phone."

Citywide Neighborhood Chair, Robin McIntosh, added that for the neighborhoods, it is an opportunity for people to become more familiar with others who share their community. "After a long day at work, it's often difficult for people to become very involved where they live. National Night Out gets people out into the streets, mingling, sharing stories, watching kids climb on fire trucks. It brings out a diverse group of people who don't tend to interact on a regular basis….and that's the point of the evening."

In fact, studies have shown that one of the best ways to fight crime is to increase residents' awareness of their immediate community. Knowing who lives there, knowing who doesn't belong, knowing when something doesn't "fit." The better people know their community and their local law enforcement professionals, the more likely they will be to alert the police before a crime happens, and the better they will be at providing pertinent information after a crime has been committed.

Neighborhoods participating this year are: Atlantic Heights, Broad Street, the Cedars, Christian Shore Creek, Frank Jones, Islington Creek, LRRA/Hillcrest Estates, Maple Haven, Osprey Landing, Rogers Street, Sherburn Civic Association, South End, Spinnaker Point, Springbrook, WIBIRD/Wahoo, and the Woodlands.

For more information, contact Robin McIntosh, Chair of the Citywide Neighborhood Committee at citywideneighborhood@comcast.net or call 433-5923 or Lt. Dante Puopolo who can be reached through the Portsmouth Police Dept. at 610-7624.

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 Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500