We’ve talked a lot about Seattle’s Night Out Against Crime—it is, after all, one of the coolest security and safety events in the Pacific Northwest. Well, we’ve had quite a few inquiries about the event so I thought we’d do a bit of a rundown on what Night Out is really about and answer some of the most common questions. Every August the city of Seattle celebrates its Annual Night Out Against Crime with over a thousand neighborhood events (last year there were 1,327! That’s some serious neighborhood commitment to safety and anti-crime). The main idea of the event is that neighborhoods get together, get to know one another, and agree that fighting crime is something that is important to them. This helps people coordinate house-watches, neighborhood-watches, and helps people to feel accountable to their community. It’s a wonderful event and we suggest that next year you encourage your neighborhood to get out and celebrate!
Q. What police precinct is our neighborhood in?
A. The Seattle PD has a great map that can help you understand where police precinct lines are. This will help you with Night Out organizations and to be more generally aware of what the Police Department organization is so that if you ever need to call the station for a non-emergency you’ll know where it is and what the number is.
Q. What do I have to do to participate in Night Out?
A. Well, firstly you should register online with the Seattle PD (the registration form will be available on their website as the time get closer to the 2012 event) and let them know that you want to participate, that you’d like to close your street (this is allowed so long as you do not live in an arterial street and you do not close your intersection). Then you should get cracking and organize a block-party like event with your neighbors. This is a great chance to pull out the barbeque, play some music, and really let loose with your neighbors. It’s particularly fun if you have everyone bring a side dish and assign one grill-master. You can also sign up (again on the PD website nearer to the summer event) for members of the police and fire departments to visit your party and talk with your neighbors and kids about safety and security.
Q. What do I actually have to do to close my street?
A. So long as you have registered with the police department and meet the criteria for closing your street, all you have to do is set up a barricade (using anything like a table or a sawhorse to block the street) and attach a printable sign provided by the PD to let everyone know that you are celebrating Night Out Against Crime!
We hope that this has answered a few of your questions and that you will celebrate the event with us. Also, if you live elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, you should check with your local PD to see if they sponsor a local Night Out event!