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Annual celebration aims to curb crime
The Hinesville Police Department spent the afternoon fingerprinting children and providing information on Neighborhood Crime Watch Programs. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon


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The sun peeked out from the clouds and cast its warmth on several hundred people who showed up for the National Night Out celebration this past weekend in Bradwell Park.
Saturday's event was a precursor to the official National Night Out that took place in cities throughout the United States Tuesday evening.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime prevention, generate support and collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, increase police-community partnerships, neighborhood watch programs, and anti-crime programs, and send a message to criminals the community will be vigilant and fight back.
Introduced by the National Association of Town Watch, a non-profit crime prevention organization, in 1984, the first National Night Out had 400 communities in 23 states and 2.5 million people participate.
Since then the campaign has grown and last year around 35.2 million people participated from all 50 states.
Saturday's event at Bradwell Park was filled with booths that provided information on crime prevention and keeping family's safe and secure. The Hinesville Police Department and Target were the main sponsors and both were on hand providing information and fingerprinting children.
“Target has been the national sponsor for National Night Out for the last three years,” Target spokesperson Garrett Pringle said. “Target has a rich history of giving back to the community, especially the communities in which we live in and work in. We are excited to be a part of the community and a part of National Night Out as a whole,” he said.
Cpl. Mike Trombley, crime prevention officer of the Hinesville Police Department, said he was pleased with the turnout for Saturday’s event.
 Trombley and several of the local neighborhood watch programs took to the streets Tuesday evening reminding the community on the importance of crime prevention and how to keep from being a victim.
Residents throughout Hinesville and across the nation were asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend Tuesday evening outside with neighbors and police. Many neighborhoods throughout Hinesville hosted a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from police, flashlight walks, contests, youth activities and anticrime rallies.
“Increasing the collaboration of the police and public and teaching people how to keep themselves from being victims is what this is all about,” Trombley said.
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