Williamsburg police to host National Night Out event Tuesday

WILLIAMSBURG - Police are inviting city residents to stand together against crime tomorrow as part of National Night Out.

Launched in 1984, National Night Out is an effort to encourage involvement in crime prevention activities, build partnerships with local police and show that neighborhoods are organizing against crime, according to the event website.

"We want to establish the community-police relationship," said Maj. Greg Riley with Williamsburg police. "It helps when (residents) can meet the officers in their neighborhood, put faces with names and understand we’re all in this together."

Williamsburg's event will kick off at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Williamsburg Community Center. It will feature food, fun and demonstrations from guests such as McGruff the Crime Dog, Heritage Human Society, Extraordinary Cupcakes and Riverside Doctors' Hospital.

Williamsburg Regional Library will show the LEGO Movie at 5 p.m. followed by Casablanca at 7 p.m.

In its first year, 2.5 million people in communities from 23 states participated in National Night Out, the website indicates. Since then, National Night Out has spread to all 50 states, Canada and military bases worldwide with approximately 37.8 million people participating.

National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said in a release, “This is a night for America to stand together and promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity." He added that neighborhoods are invited to "give crime a going away party."