National Night Out comes to Berkeley on Tuesday

Berkeleyans are coming out in record numbers for this year's National Night Out celebration. (Scroll down for the interactive map.) Image: Google Maps
Berkeleyans are coming out in record numbers for this year’s National Night Out. (Scroll down for the interactive map.) Image: Google Maps

It’s by far the biggest year yet for National Night Out in Berkeley, with nearly 100 neighborhoods and organizations signed up to hold block parties and other events Tuesday night.

And police say it’s not too late to sign up. If your neighborhood, business, church, association or community agency would like to participate, download the registration form and send it to Officer Stephanie Polizziani at spolizziani@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

The nationwide annual event is in its 32nd year. It brings local police, firefighters, city officials and other city staffers into the neighborhoods to mingle with local residents who hold block parties and get to know each other in the interest of building community and neighborhood safety.

According to the city, the primary goal is “to help communities build relationships with their local public safety department and raise awareness about crime prevention. In general, neighborhoods participate in National Night Out by turning on their lights and having porch or street side conversations” and “strengthening neighborhood bonds.”


Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said earlier this week that participation has skyrocketed this year, from last year’s 58 block parties and events, which had previously been the department’s record, to more than 90 events.

Meehan said he was excited that so many people are getting involved in the effort: “We have a tremendous year coming up. It’s going to be very exciting.”

According to the city, the range of events planned this year includes “block parties, cookouts, barbecues, and ice cream socials.” Scroll down to see a map created by the Police Department, which includes basic information about different festivities that are planned.

Berkeley Police Officer Stephanie Polizziani, who spearheaded the outreach for the event and organized it, said she made it her goal last year to get 100 groups in Berkeley to sign up, and said she still hopes to get there. To boost participation, she and an intern reached out to community partners such as social service agencies, housing complexes, churches, libraries and more, in addition to the Neighborhood Watch groups who have traditionally been involved.

Polizziani said all the Berkeley Public Library branches have planned events that will be open to the public, and that the Young Adult Project will hold its annual block party on McGee Avenue. The library also plans to have a “library on wheels” that will make the rounds to some of the block parties in town. Sports Basement, at 2727 Milvia St. in South Berkeley, is offering a 20% discount to visitors from 6-8:30 p.m. who mention National Night Out. There will also be a “crime prevention table,” and light refreshments on hand. (See a flier for the South Branch library event here.)


Feel free to promote your block party or event in the comments below.

A map indicating the general locations of participating blocks, which was created by the Berkeley Police Department, appears below. (Red dots indicate that a Berkeley fire engine is scheduled to pay a visit to that location.)

Read more about National Night Out on the city website, and in past Berkeleyside coverage.

Related:
Berkeley to join National Night Out celebration Tuesday (08.04.14)
Berkeley street parties celebrate neighborhood safety (08.07.13)
National Night Out comes to Berkeley on Tuesday (08.02.13)
Fighting crime in Berkeley one potluck at a time (08.08.12)
Company of neighbors, good food at local block parties (08.03.11)

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