Night out helps prevent crime

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By Colleen Peregrin

Aug. 6 marks the date of the 30th annual National Night Out, an event designed to help teach people tactics to reduce their potential for crime.

This year’s theme is Lights On Means Lights Out for Crime.

“Crimes are sometimes opportunities,” said Carmel Police Lt. Joe Bickel. “So, if you lessen the opportunities by locking your car door, locking your house and turning on your lights at night, that helps prevent the opportunities for bad guys – or bad girls – to go and commit crimes.”

This year, the National Night Out event will be at the Carmel Gazebo by Civic Square from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature personnel from the Carmel Fire and Police departments.

“In addition, we are trying to have a few other things from the police department, like our SWAT team, a few members and their truck as well as some of our traffic officers and their motorcycles at the event,” Bickel said.

During prior National Night Out events, each of the 125 Carmel area neighborhoods that have an established Crime Watch program would organize an event. This year’s centrally-located event allows the police and firefighters to have more time to interact with the citizens, answering questions and providing useful tips for preventing crime.

“In the past, we’ve been to all these different neighborhoods, which really spreads out our resources,” Bickel said, reminiscing on the event in previous years. “I think last year I went to four different neighborhoods and that meant I could only spend so much time at each.”

The event will be a pitch-in meal and the department asks that people bring their own tables and chairs and encourages bringing goodies to share with neighbors and friends.

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