Neighborhoods all across the country will be lit up tonight for National Night Out, an anti-crime effort that has been raising crime awareness and strengthening police-community relations since 1984.

Residents are encouraged to leave their porch lights on tonight between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. as part of a national front porch vigil. Several local neighborhoods are also holding block parties to raise awareness for their neighborhood watch programs and foster relationships between neighbors.

Riverhead Police Department lieutenants Rick Boden and Jill Kubetz will be visiting the block parties to give away free t-shirts and raffle prizes.

“It strengthens the bond between the neighborhoods and the police,” Boden said today.

The event kicked off today with the presentation of the winners of the National Night Out poster contest at the Riverhead Town Board meeting. Eight students ages 6 through 10 received proclamations from the town board for winning the contest.

Four block parties are planned in Riverhead Town tonight:

  • Linda Lane, Aquebogue, 7:15 p.m.
  • Meetinghouse Creek Road, Aquebogue, 8 p.m.
  • Herod Point Road, Wading River, 7:15 p.m.
  • Hulse Avenue, Wading River, 8 p.m.

Refreshments will be available as well as free t-shirt giveaways by Riverhead Police.

“It’s a nice way to get outside of your house and meet your neighbors,” Boden said.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a co-publisher of RiverheadLOCAL. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie