Evanston plans to join with other communities next week in a demonstration of neighborhood unity to fight crime. You’re asked to help by turning your porch light on from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

It’s called the National Night Out event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

An annual event, it’s designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals to let them know the neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

In addition to turning your porch light on as a sign of unity, Evanston police are asking neighborhood groups to get involved in other ways as well, such as planning a neighborhood block party or cookout and scheduling visits from Evanston police and fire departments.

The city reminds you to register your block party celebration with Community Strategies at (847) 866-5019. The police officer in charge of National Night Out in Evanston is Loyce Spells at (847) 859-7843, who would be glad to answer your questions about the event.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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