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Register Your Neighborhood for 'National Night Out' on Aug. 7

Twenty-eight Mercer Island neighborhoods participated in 2011 as part of a national movement to promote safety.

Most Mercer Island National Night Out gatherings have a definite block party vibe, with plenty of eating, socializing and kids playing. But the chance to talk informally with the police officers who stop by is an integral part of the event which, after all, is rooted in crime prevention.

According to a press release, will be hosting the City’s fifth annual “National Night Out” on August 7.

Last year, Mercer Island Patch rode along with Mercer Island Police Department Officers Michael Vickers and Jennifer Franklin and visited several of the block parties held around the Island and snapped pictures at the event, which can be .

National Night Out is an organized event designed to bring neighbors together to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for family emergency preparedness and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and community partnerships. In addition, the goal of the event is to bring families and neighbors together to meet one another, reintroduce each other and to learn the faces of neighbors and city officials.

This year will mark the 29th year of National Night Out across the United States. National Night Out is a crime prevention and preparedness event, which will involve over 14,000 communities from all 50 states. Locally, there are approximately 70 cities and counties in Washington State who participate in the event, including several cities on the Eastside.

From 6 to 9 p.m., residents in neighborhoods throughout Mercer Island and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors, police and fire, city officials and city staff.  Many neighborhoods throughout Mercer Island will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, visits from police, fire and city officials, flashlight walks, contests and youth activities.

If you would like to register your neighborhood for National Night Out, contact MIPD Officer Franklin at 206-275-7905 or email jennifer.franklin@mercergov.org and ask to be placed on the registration list. For additional information and helpful links, visit the city's Emergency Preparedness webpage.

Note: You are invited to send pictures of National Night Out events in Mercer Island to us at mercerisland@patch.com.

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