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Police want to make a week of Night Out effort

August 01, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

Hagerstown residents today will sponsor crime-awareness events in the Central Avenue area - the first of what officials expect to be the city's most expansive "National Night Out" observance ever.

The actual night out, which communities all over the country have observed for more than a decade, is not until Tuesday. But Sgt. Margaret Kline, who runs the city's Community Policing office, said officials decided to spread events out over the entire week because of increasing interest.

"This makes it a little easier," said Kline, who added that this is the fourth year the city police have participated.

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On Tuesday, residents are asked to turn on their porch lights and meet their neighbors to ward off crime.

Events in the city begin today in the 300 block of Central Avenue from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Kline said. Sponsored by the North West End Neighborhood Watch, activities will include displays of police and fire and rescue vehicles, games and a fingerprinting demonstration.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II also will be on hand, Kline said.

From 5 to 10 p.m., Kline said city police will also be at the Valleybrook Drive cul de sac for a community picnic.

Events also will be held Tuesday at the Potomac Towers, the Hagerstown Day Nursery; Thursday in the Jonathan Street community; next Saturday at the corner of Winter and George streets; and next Sunday in the 100 block of East North Avenue.

For the first time, the Washington County Sheriff's Department is also participating. Deputy Jeffrey Cooper said events are planned in Williamsport and Boonsboro for Tuesday.

From noon until 8 p.m., he said sheriff's deputies will fingerprint kids in Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport. Officials also will sponsor games and hand out crime information.

Similar events are planned in Shafer Memorial Park in Boonsboro, he said.

"Basically, we're just trying to get kids out and about and get them involved," Cooper said. "We're going to see how it goes, and then maybe next year, we'll do something bigger and better."

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