- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
For 30 years, communities across the nation have participated in National Night Out, an annual celebration where neighbors step outside, mingle with law enforcement and other first responders, throw some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and participate in a number of events and games in the spirit of celebrating what it means to be a community.
On the evening of Aug. 6, 15 communities in Calvert County joined more than 9,400 other communities throughout the United States and Canada as well as military bases and U.S. territories to celebrate this three-decade-old event. The message has not changed. Since its inception in 1984, National Night Out has been a way for neighborhoods to peacefully send the message that crime will not win.
The event has grown exponentially over the years. What started as people turning on their porch lights and sitting outside has grown into block parties with moonbounces, face painting, dunk tanks and a carnival atmosphere for neighbors to chat with each other and have friendly conversation with police and fire and rescue volunteers.
But crime can be sent a message year round. As our story in last Friday’s edition indicated, one particular neighborhood, Chesapeake Ranch Estates, has a Neighborhood Watch group in need of more members. CRE has the largest concentrated number of homes in the county, and, therefore, sees a little more criminal activity than in other places of the county. It is not a haven for criminal activity by any means, just that there is plenty of more opportunity. Getting a few more eyes on the lookout for suspicious people or activity in the neighborhood certainly couldn’t hurt. The next Calvert County Neighborhood Watch group meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9, at the Holiday Inn Express in Prince Frederick. More information about the group and how to sign up can be found on the Calvert County government website at http://www.co.cal.md.us/index.aspx?nid=595 .
Joining the Neighborhood Watch is one way to get involved. The sheriff’s office also has a Crime Solvers tip line, 410-535-2880, where those with information about a crime may give information anonymously. They can also fill out a form online and submit it to investigators. That form and more information can also be found on the county website at http://www.co.cal.md.us/index.aspx?nid=453.
Overall, crime is rather low in Calvert County compared to other areas in the state. It is nice to get together with law enforcement in a setting that is pleasant for all. But the more we talk with law enforcement, the more we let them know what is going on in our neighborhoods, the better they can do their jobs. We shouldn’t wait an entire year to talk with a sheriff’s deputy or a state trooper about concerns we may have.