On Tuesday, residents from all across the city will host block parties during the 30th annual celebration of National Night Out.

The event is designed to build bonds between neighbors and police departments. As part of the event, the Killeen police and fire departments will send patrol vehicles and fire trucks to all of the 33 scheduled parties.

“It is a win-win event for everyone involved,” said Tammy Mosely, Killeen Police Department’s crime prevention coordinator. “It is so good to be able to get out there and visit all the block parties, whether they are small or large gatherings.”

One of the ideas behind National Night Out is that as neighbors become more familiar with each other, the more they will be able to spot possible crimes. By knowing which people and which vehicles are supposed to be on their blocks, neighbors are more apt to spot would-be criminals.

“One of the best ways to fight crime is to get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other,” said Mayor Dan Corbin, who hosted a National Night Out party last year. “National Night Out gives an opportunity to meet neighbors. It makes the neighborhood safer.”

It also provides an opportunity for children to meet with police officers in a positive setting. As part of the festivities, dozens of officers, along with children’s favorites such as McGruff the Crime Dog, will travel to each party.

Again this year, the police department had to cut off registrants for official National Night Out parties because they maxed out the number they could attend. Some businesses and organizations are hosting parties as well. The Killeen Chick-fil-A, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, St. Andrews United Methodist Church and Central Texas College are all planning parties.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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