Juneau participated in National Night Out Aug.5 for the first time. NNO is a 25-year-old community event designed to promote heightened awareness and strengthened participation in local anti-crime efforts.
photos courtesy of Kathy Underwood McGruff the Crime Dog , the Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire and Rescue showed up for block parties in seven different neighborhoods around Juneau as part of National Night Out.
"Some people don't even know who their neighbors are," he said. "When people know their neighbors, they're more likely to look out for them."
Decker, along with half a dozen officers including McGruff the Crime Dog, made rounds stopping at each party. One block party on Taku cordoned off the street and held a pot luck while other locations served up barbecue or hosted ice cream socials.
Decker said it was nice for police and firefighters to interact with the community in a social setting for a change.
Dee Ojard, JPD public safety systems coordinator, said Juneau's National Night Out involvement exceeded expectations. JPD had hoped for five block parties and wound up with seven overall, including four in the valley, one at Sunny Point and two downtown locations.
"Next year, we want to approach (state) troopers, Coast Guard and Forest Service to see if they want to get involved," she said. "We'll start planning much earlier to get folks involved."
JPD awarded block captains with ice cream coupons, which will be honored by Alaska Proud, Fred Meier, Safeway, Super Bear and Wal-Mart.
"It was nice of their managers to agree to honor those coupons," Ojard said.
To learn more about National Night Out visit www.nationalnightout.org.