By Jimmie Ferguson
Killeen Daily Herald
A rash of burglaries in his neighborhood was enough to convince a Killeen resident that even the police need help.
That's why Willie Dennis will be hosting his first neighborhood block party Tuesday on National Night Out – a great time to bring his neighbors together to get to know each other to crack down on crime.
"A lot of the neighbors haven't heard about it, but it seems to be a pretty good eye-opener when you go into other neighborhoods," said Dennis, 41, who lives in the 5800 block of Tropicana Court.
Dennis, who has lived in Killeen for 13 months, plans to take advantage of the National Night Out gathering to form a neighborhood watch group in his area.
Kent Douglas is no stranger to National Night Out festivities, because his wife has hosted them before.
"It's my turn this time around," said the 45-year-old Killeen resident, who will be barbecuing in the 1900 block of Meadowbrook Drive.
"Why? The only way you can have an effective program in your community to combat this thing called crime is that we all got to be on the same sheet of music," Douglas said.
Another reason, Douglas said, is that he wants to live in a peaceful area. "And I think we are capable of having just that."
The National Night Out program was organized 23 years ago to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness in communities across the nation and on college campuses. It was also designed to generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts and to strengthen neighborhood spirit.
That's why residents throughout the area will be firing up their barbecues from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The following block parties are planned: Sharon Gaither at 4107-A Alan Kent Drive; Jennie Spring at 3206 Honeysuckle Drive; Shirley Peterson at 2905 Sierra Drive; Cyglenda Stafford at 2403 Cactus Drive; Amy Montgomery at 3300 John Porter Drive; Annie Duenas at 2900 Illinois Ave.; Linda Person at 4401 E. Rancier Ave. (Stoneranch); Linda Person at 1101 N. Twin Creek Drive (Veranda); Janice Taylor at 731 Wolf St.; April Gresko at 606 N. 24th St.; Tina Wright at 4208 Gus Drive #A.
Also: Kristy Shepard at 1701 Terrace Drive (pool); Sasha Orta at 507 W. Green Ave.; Lisa Cleveland at 5206 Lolly Loop; Mandy Hollinger at 906 Illinois Drive; Janice Taylor at 1103 E. Avenue E; Toni Peters at 4402 Captain Drive; Tina Wright at 4102 Moss Oak Drive; Ben Witt at 1203 Metropolitan Drive; Brenda Brown at 2700 Verbena Loop.
Also: Tina Marzan at 2803 Bachelor Button Blvd.; Irene Speer at 1202 Illinois Drive; Anthony Walton at 10th Street and Avenue C (church); Gail Perez at 4704 Greenlee Drive; Juanita Jones at 4307 Menard Drive; Barbara Matos at 4409 Bluestem Lane; Sandra Obrien at 209 Prather Drive; April Webb at 2508 Mikulec Drive; Irene Wilson at 800 N. 46th St., No. 11A; and Bill Jones at 110 S. 38th St.
As of Thursday, Copperas Cove had block parties scheduled at the YMCA Boys & Girls Club at 501 Clara Drive; 1201 Virginia Ave.; 2901 Curtis Drive; 1012 S. 29th St.; 502 N. 23rd St; 1309 Bluebird Trail; and 504 Grace Louis Circle.
Harker Heights has block parties scheduled at 402 Bonnie Drive; 117 E. Bobwhite Lane; 109 W. Great Plains Trial; 1116 Cedar Oaks Lane; 1804 Mountain View Circle; 1209 Mountain View Drive; 1110 Indian Trail; 2503 Creek Drive; 1700 Iron Jacket Trail; and 3939 Bella Vista Loop.
The event will be consolidated at Hood Stadium this year and will begin at 6 p.m.
Central Texas College
Activities will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the married/single parent housing playground located on Resident Drive on campus. Also, the CTC Police Department will host a grand opening of new playground equipment for children of students who live on campus.
National Night Out festivities will include a variety of fun activities for kids, such as face-painting, fingerprinting and police car rides. Children can also get a free picture taken in a police uniform. Campus police will provide crime prevention tips and safety demonstrations.
"This marks the ninth year CTC has held National Night Out festivities," said CTC Police Chief Mary Wheeler. "We are one of only eight colleges in the nation that participate as an active member of the National Association of Town Watch.
"We invite residents of our student housing as well as the entire community to come out and spend time getting to know the campus police. It is an excellent opportunity to help build unity and to strengthen police-community partnerships."
Contact Jimmie Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org