by Dennis Dalman
Ten Sartell neighborhoods are signed up to take part from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 in “National Night Out,” a nationwide effort to enhance neighborly togetherness and mutual safety.
Three or four police officers will visit those neighborhoods to meet people, give safety tips and answer questions, said Sartell Police Officer Rob Lyon, who helps neighborhoods coordinate the event. This year officers will share information about how to avoid identity theft. They will also let children climb into squad cars.
“I like to talk to people, and the kids love the coloring books and stickers we give out at the events,” Lyon said. “National Night Out is important because so many neighbors don’t know one another.”
Lyon said any officer can testify to the fact that in some emergencies they will need to know who lives next door, and the person at the house has no idea of the names of the people living near them.”
People who take part in National Night Out need not get to be coffee-klatch friends, Lyon noted. In most cases, it’s sufficient just to meet neighbors and perhaps get a list of their phone numbers to call in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea for neighbors to share information about concerns and for what to keep an eye out for in some circumstances.
That kind of vital knowledge, Lyon said, can be valuable and even life-saving when emergencies occur.