Residents to take to streets tonight to fight crime

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

After a year in the making, Suffolk communities will be taking part this evening in &uot;National Night Out,&uot; (NNO) a program dedicated to helping citizens understand and learn about their role in crime prevention.

Many agencies and civic groups will be involved in this event. Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson said his entire team of attorneys would participate in the NNO.

&uot;We will be out among the people across the city to offer advice on how to prevent crimes, or what to do if you know about a crime that’s already taken place,&uot; said Ferguson. &uot;We will also be offering information about &uot;EXILE,&uot; a program that helps remove handguns and those who use them from our communities. We are looking forward to meeting many people during this very important event.&uot;

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Other agencies who will be out providing information on many city services include the Suffolk Fire Department; Suffolk Citizens Community Services; Citizens’ Academy Alumni of Suffolk; many of the local civic leagues, businesses, and churches; and of course, local law enforcement.

Sergeant Tim Duncan and Officers John Cooke and Junious Jackson are three local police officers who will be visiting the various neighborhoods in an effort to help communities fight crime.

&uot;The police department and many local citizens have established a partnership in crime fighting through &uot;Neighborhood Watch&uot; groups,&uot; said Sgt. Duncan. &uot;For the past year, we have been involved in &uot;Project 365.&uot; Our project was to develop more Neighborhood Watch groups in Suffolk. We are in our second year of national competition and last year, we won national recognition for our efforts from the National Association of Town Watch. This year, we want our neighbors across the city to come out and participate in this very important program; NNO; dedicated this year to the Sept. 11 victims.&uot;

Officer Jackson added that this year’s them is &uot;Building Tomorrow Today,&uot; a theme geared toward educating our youth about their responsibilities to the communities.&uot;

Officer Cooke added, he and Jackson and their sergeant will be at the Suffolk Train Station on N. Main Street at 5:15 p.m. and other police officers will accompany them as they visit Chorey Park Apartments, the Clay/Market/Saratoga neighborhoods, Old Town, Kingsboro, Orlando, Wilson Pines, Elephant’s Fork, River Creek and other communities in Suffolk.

&uot;More than 33 million people from 9700 communities across the nation will take part in NNO tonight,&uot; said Officer Cooke. &uot;We hope that everyone will join us tonight as we visit the neighborhoods in Suffolk. We’d like people to turn on porch lights, lock their doors and come out to meet with their neighbors and us. This relationship is crucial to removing crime from our neighborhoods.&uot;

Sgt. Duncan added that &uot;kids&uot; are a major part of the NNO this year. He said a large mural has been created by local youth and it will be on display around the city tonight. That 12×15 feet canvas for the mural was donated by LW Lawn and Janitorial Services.

Many other businesses contributed to this event including Sentry Food Marts, Bennetts Creek Farmer’s Market, Bank of Hampton Roads, Ryan’s Family Restaurant, VDOT, and Wal-Mart.

For more information on creating a Neighborhood Watch committee, call Sgt. Duncan or Officers Cooke and Jackson at 923-2358 or 923-2355.