The Copperas Cove Police Department is inviting residents to a downtown block party to kick off residential gatherings geared toward fighting crime.
Oct. 1 is the state’s official National Night Out campaign day. Residents throughout Cove are being asked to conduct their own block parties to meet their neighbors and help prevent crime.
“Block parties are an opportunity for the citizens themselves to get together with their neighbors and get to know their neighbors,” said Cpl. Dominique Moore. “It raises awareness from your neighbors of who should be around. It helps as far as being able to recognize suspicious activity and call law enforcement, so we can investigate that activity.”
National Night Out helps heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, generates participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and sends messages to the criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, according to a Cove PD news release.
About six residential block parties were held last year and the police department is hoping for more this year, Moore said.
The police recommended the block parties be conducted outside by hosting cookouts, flashlight walks, contests, youth activities, and anti-crime and anti-drug rallies. To set the tone for the neighborhood gatherings, the police department will conduct its own party from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28 downtown.
Parts of Avenue E and South Main Street will be closed, allowing people to participate in various festivities and have some good eats, the news release stated.
Officers will conduct games, such as “dunk an officer” and “smash a car.” Community groups and the police department also will set up informational booths.
Residents also may enjoy the mascot “Dance Off” between several area mascots, including H-E-Buddy, Recycling Michael, Sparky the Fire Dogs and McGruff the crime dog, the news release stated.
The police department will serve hotdogs, chips, cookies, popcorn, soft drinks and snow cones. Door prizes will be given away throughout the evening. Most activities will be free throughout the evening, but some will cost 25 cents.