McGruff the Crime Dog is the National Night Out mascot.

The 32nd Annual National Night Out, an evening observed across the country as “America’s night out against crime” will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Riverhead Police will participate in the annual event, as it has since the 1980s. Police, accompanied by McGruff the Crime Dog, will visit Neighborhood Watch groups’ block parties on National Night Out.

Police ask neighborhoods to hold front porch vigils by leaving lights on between 7 and 10 p.m. and participating in events such as block parties, cookouts, flashlight walks, contests and youth programs.

National Night Out — “America’s Night Out Against Crime” — was introduced in 1984. It began as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie — and to send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, according to the National Night Out website.

Riverhead Police said the event helps heighten awareness of crime and drugs in local neighborhoods, generates support for local anti-crime programs, strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and sends a message to criminals by letting them know that neighborhoods
are organized and fighting back against crime.

National Night Out will officially kick off in Riverhead with the presentation of National Night Out poster contest winners at the Riverhead Town Board meeting at 2 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall.

Call the Riverhead Town Police Crime Prevention Unit at 631-727-4500 ext.
273 to find out how police can help with an event in your neighborhood or for information on establishing a Neighborhood Watch team in your neighborhood.

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